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TL;DR, short for "too long; didn't read", is Internet slang to say that some text being replied to has been ignored because of its length. In slang it can also stand for "Too lazy; didn't read". It is also used as a signifier for a summary of an online post or news article.[1][2]

The phrase dates back to at least 2003, and was added to the Oxford Dictionaries Online in 2013.[3]


On reddit, tldr[4] is the subreddit serving as the site's daily recap. Long posts on reddit are also frequently followed or preceded by a summary, consisting of a sentence or brief paragraph, that is prefixed by the phrase "TL;DR", and the abbreviation is sometimes used as a noun denoting such a summary, as in "Please include a TL;DR along with your post".

The phrase inspired the name of Terms of Service; Didn't Read, a website that aims to analyze and grade the terms of service and privacy policies of major service providers.[5]


The reddit bot "autotldr",[6] created in 2011 automatically summarizes news articles in the comment-section of reddit posts. It was found to be very useful by the reddit community which upvoted its summaries hundreds of thousands of times.[7]

Various applications, services, websites, groups and individuals that summarize lengthy content exist online.[which?] Wikipedia and especially its lead sections can be seen as such a website.[8][better source needed]

Furthermore, some journalists have started adding "tl;dr"s to their articles and many already add summarizing subheaders. The uses of such summaries allow readers to decide whether or not they are interested in investing their time in reading the full article.[citation needed]

In the academic community, this concept is known as an "abstract" and has been used for many decades.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What Is 'TLDR'?". Lifewire. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  2. ^ "What Does TL;DR Mean? AMA? TIL? Glossary Of Reddit Terms And Abbreviations". International Business Times. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  3. ^ "Oxford Dictionaries Online quarterly update: new words added to today". OxfordWords blog. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. 28 August 2013. Retrieved 2014-12-04. TL;DR, abbrev.: ‘too long didn’t read’: used as a dismissive response to a lengthy online post, or to introduce a summary of a lengthy post.
  4. ^ "Too long; didn't read (TLDR or TL;DR)". reddit.
  5. ^ Caldwell, Patrick (August 14, 2012). "Too Long, Didn't Read My Rights". The American Prospect. Retrieved 2014-12-04.
  6. ^ "overview for autotldr". reddit. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  7. ^ Squire, Megan. Mastering Data Mining with Python – Find patterns hidden in your data. Packt Publishing Ltd. ISBN 9781785885914. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  8. ^ Chen, Yuqing. "Letter to the editor: Wikipedia summarizes information". La Voz News. Retrieved 9 February 2017.