What is the Meaning of XO in English?

Explore the meaning of ‘XO’ and its usage in English language. This common symbol carries a distinct significance involving kisses and hugs, romance and affection.


The term ‘XO’ is widely used in conversations, messages, and letters. But do you precisely know what it stands for? This article will delve into the meaning and usage of XO in the English language.

The Basic Meaning of XO

In the simplest form, ‘XO’ represents kisses and hugs. The ‘X’ signifies a kiss and the ‘O’ stands for a hug. The symbol dates back to the Middle Ages when the majority of people were illiterate and signed off letters with an ‘X’ to represent sincerity, faith, and fidelity, much like a kiss.

The Modern Usage of XO

Modernly, XO is universally accepted in English-speaking countries as a symbol of affection. It is commonly used at the end of a letter, message, or an email as a warm sign-off. The pattern of Xs and Os can also change based on the sender’s relationship with the recipient. For instance, a single ‘XO’ might be used among friends, while a string like ‘XOXO’ might be reserved for romantic relationships.

  • Example: ‘I’ll see you soon. XO, Jane’

Other Interpretations of XO

While the most common interpretation of XO is kisses and hugs, it can also stand for other meanings in different contexts. For instance, ‘XO’ in military language refers to ‘Executive Officer’. In the realm of gaming, XO represents button symbols for PlayStation controllers. ‘XO’ is also the name of a popular song by Beyoncé.


So, ‘XO’ carries different meanings in different contexts, but in the English language, it predominantly symbolises a loving gesture – of hugs and kisses. It’s a warm, endearing, and simple way of expressing love and affection towards our dear ones.

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