What does PTB stand for?

Powers that be

PTB is another way to refer to power or authority that is out of your control. Examples include parents, a boss, or the big guy upstairs as "powers" that have more control than you in different aspects of your life.

Where does PTB come from?

The "PTB" acronym comes from the "powers that be" phrase and is a shortened variation of TPTB. It is unclear when the acronym was created, but it gained more usage in the early-2000s as Internet lingo and texting grew.

Who uses PTB?

The acronym is not very common and is primarily used by people who like to use chat slang. People typically use it when lamenting about things out of their control, such as approval for a bank loan or getting a job. Or, they may be praying for a miracle, like winning the lottery, from a divine being.


After I send my resume to the company, I'll just have to wait for the PTB to make a decision

Hoping fo the PTB to grant you a new PS5

Related Slang


Updated April 6, 2021

PTB definition by

This page explains what the acronym "PTB" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the team.

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