What does “AWOL” mean? If you are in the military or you know someone who is, you are probably familiar with this term. If not, then that explains why you are here searching for the meaning for this acronym. Here you will not only find the meaning of this term, but you will also find the information regarding its origin and some alternate meanings for the acronym. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to read through some example conversations that feature the proper usage of this acronym to help you gain a better understanding of this term. Lastly, you will see some alternative phrases you can use in place of this acronym and the phrase it stands for.
What Does “AWOL” Mean?
This acronym is used to stand for the phrase “absent without leave.” It means that someone, typically someone in the military, has service without the permission to do so from his superior officers.
Origin of “AWOL”
This acronym originated in the United States military, but exactly when is of some dispute. The practice is alluded to as far back as the Civil War. However, it is not mentioned specifically on record until after the first World War in 1919.
The first representation of this term reads “absent without official leave.” Like almost all acronyms, there are some other phrases, titles, etc. that this acronym represents in more specific situations. Some other things that this acronym can stand for are “a work of love,” “American way of life,” “all walks of life,” “Attitude Without Limits,” and “another way of living.”
A discussion between two friends via text message.
- Friend 1: Do you know where John is?
- Friend 2: No, I have not seen or heard from him since yesterday morning.
- Friend 1: Neither have I. He seems to have gone AWOL. He is not answering his phone or my text messages.
- Friend 2: Weird! If I hear from him I will let him know you are looking for him.
A conversation online between two Facebook users.
- User 1: Hey everyone! Sorry I have been AWOL for a while. I had some personal issues going on. I am back now though!
- User 2: Glad to have you back and I hope everything is okay. I have been concerned.
Synonyms of “AWOL”
There are several synonymous phrases that you could use in place of this acronym and the phrase it represents. Some alternatives you could use include”
- absent without permission
- absent from duty
- unauthorized absence
AWOL Meaning Infographic