What Does “CW” Mean?

By Jax

The acronym “CW” stands for “Content Warning.” This is most commonly used on social media platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. When used, it indicates that the content that follows may be shocking or explicit and should be approached with caution.


While the abbreviation “CW” may appear safe for work and child-friendly, the content it warns of is not. Therefore, it is not suitable for children or the workplace.

Abbreviation Meaning Emotion
CW Content Warning Warning

Examples and other meanings


  • Emotion: Warning
  • Intention: This example indicates a warning to viewers that the content they are about to view will be explicit and shocking.

“Don’t watch if you can’t handle it. Total CW!”

  • Emotion: Warning
  • Intention: This example is another warning to viewers about the explicit nature of the content.

Popularity over time

The use of “CW” began trending in 2018 and has become prevalent in text messaging and social media communities.