instant messaging


General English


  • noun a system that gives people on the Internet the ability to communicate in real time


  • noun a feature that lets a user type in and exchange messages with one or more other people connected via the Internet. Each of the users in the group runs special software that tells them when a friend or colleague has connected to the Internet and is available to receive messages. Any message that he or she types in is then sent instantly to the other user.

Media Studies

  • noun software which allows computer users to send short messages in real time which appear on another user’s screen