LoL Guide: Terms, Definitions, and Abbreviations

Published: Jun 11, 2017 - Last Updated: Feb 29, 2024

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League of Legends is filled with terms, definitions, and abbreviations. To the newer viewers, this turns the simple act of watching competitive broadcasts into an exercise in gaming linguistics. To make things easier for you, we’ve prepared a list of the most common LoL terms that you’ll often hear on stream.



AA – an auto (or basic) attack. The standard attack that players can perform by right-clicking on the enemy targets.

Ace – a situation when every champion on one team is dead.

Active – items or abilities that have to be activated through clicking or pressing the corresponding hotkey.

AD – attack damage.

ADC (Attack Damage Carry) – a champion that relies on AD to do massive amounts of damage.

Aggro – the target priority of computer-controlled turrets, monsters, and minions.

AoE – area of effect.

AP – ability power.

AS – attack speed.

Assassin – a highly mobile champion that excels at quickly taking down enemy champions.

Assist – to help your teammates kill an enemy champion. Doing that will also grant you a portion of the kill bounty.

Aura – a passive ability that affects champions and their nearby teammates.


Back – to retreat towards your base. May be used as a synonym to ‘Recall’.

Babysit – to constantly provide assistance to one of your teammates.

Bait – to pretend to be weak in order to set up a trap for your opponents.

Backdoor – to siege enemy turrets, inhibitors, or even the nexus without the assistance of your minions.

Blind – a debuff that makes auto attacks miss their target.

Blink – a mobility spell that allows you to instantly teleport over a short distance.

Buff – a beneficial effect that’s applied to allied champions or minions. Can also refer to the balance changes where a developer makes a champion or an item stronger.

Build – a selection of items that works well together. Can be used to describe items that a champion currently has in his inventory.


Cap – an in-game limit, which one cannot overcome. For example, attack speed has the cap of 2.5, meaning that you can’t do more than 2.5 attacks per second.

Carry – a champion that becomes incredibly strong as the match progresses. Usually compensated for by vulnerabilities in the earlier stages of the game. May also refer to the act of performing well and leading your team to victory.

Caster – a champion that deals most of his damage through spells.

CC (Crowd control) – a class of abilities that impair movement or actions.

CD (Cooldown) – the time before an ability can be used again.

CDR – cooldown reduction.

Chain CC – to use several crowd control abilities on an enemy champion in succession.

Channelling – a situation when a spell requires a certain cast time to take full effect. These spelss can be interrupted.

Chasing – an act of going after a running enemy champion.

Cheese – a strategy that relies on opponents not knowing about it or not reacting properly to it in order to work.

Clutch – to perform well in a high-pressure situation.

Commit – to participate in a battle until it ends or your champion dies.

Counter gank – to prepare an ambush to answer an incoming enemy gank.

Counter jungle – to kill neutral monsters on the enemy side of the map, thus taking away resources from them.

Counter pick – to pick a champion during the draft with the intention of opposing a certain enemy champion.

Cover – to stay in another player’s lane and collect gold and experience while he’s not there.

Creeps – monsters and minions.

CS (creep score) – a metric indicates how many creeps a champion’s killed.


Dash – a mobility spell that allows you to rapidly move over a short distance. Unlike blinks, dashes can be interrupted.

Debuff – a negative effect that affects champions or minions.

Deny – to zone away enemy champions from minions, depriving them of gold and experience.

Disable – a type of crowd control that stops opposing champions from taking certain actions.

Dive – to go for a particular target in a highly dangerous location, usually behind turrets or other enemy champions.

DoT – damage over time spell.

DPS – damage per second.

Duelist – a champion that’s proficient at fighting in a one versus one setting.


Execute – an ability that deals bonus damage based on the target’s missing health.

Executed – a situation where a champion gets slain by a creep or a turret, and no one receives the kill credit.


Face check – to go into a bush with no prior vision there.

Fall off – a term that describes certain champions becoming weaker in the later stages of the game.

Farm – to last hit creeps in order to obtain gold and experience.

Fear – a crowd control effect that makes the target slowly walk away from the caster.

Fed – a champion that’s uncharacteristically powerful due to getting more kills or farm than is intended for that time in the game.

Feed – to repeatedly die and give away gold and experience to your enemies.

Fighter (bruiser) – a champion that’s a mix between a tank and a damage dealer.

Fog of War – an in-game mechanic that prevents you from seeing areas that don’t have any allied units in the vicinity.

Freezing – an advanced tactic where a player manipulates the minion waves in a way to hold in the desired spot. When done right, can create huge gold and experience leads.

Focus – to prioritize a particular target, usually a carry.


Game throw – a situation where a team with an advantage makes a misstep that and loses its lead.

Gank – to come into a different lane with the goal of killing an unsuspecting enemy.

Gap closer – an ability that allows a champion to quickly bridge short distances. Examples of gap closers are blinks and dashes.

Glass cannon – a champion that has a particular item/ability combination, which makes him proficient at dealing damage and lacking in terms of defense.

Global – a long-range ability that can strike anywhere on the map.


Harass – to pressure your opponents by dealing damage in situations where they can’t fight back.

Hard CC – a crowd control effect that stops channeling abilities.

Hard leash – to help your jungler by attacking a neutral monster and greatly decreasing its health before your ally can last hit it.

Hold – to protect your turret against advancing enemies.

Hook – an ability that impairs movement and brings the target towards your position.

Hybrid – a champion that has multiple build options. For example, the choice between going AD or AP.

Hypercarry – a champion with extreme weaknesses during the early stages of the game that later ramps up and becomes a massive threat.


Initiate – to start a battle.

Invade – to enter the enemy jungle with the goal of getting kills or slaying neutral monsters.


Juggernaut – a subclass of fighters that’s tanky but not very mobile.

Juke – to dodge enemy attacks through erratic movement, breaking line of sight, or other methods. Also refers to escaping from chasing opponents.

Jungle – areas between the lanes that are shrouded in the Fog of War and are populated by neutral monsters.

Jungler – a champion that isn’t assigned to any particular lane and instead farms neutral monster to get gold and experience.


Kill lane – a combination of champions (usually in the bot lane) that’s focused on slaying its opponents.

Killing spree – a champion that kills several enemy champions without dying and gets his gold bounty increased as a result.

Kit – a set of abilities of a certain champion.

Kite – to move backwards in the intervals between auto attacks or spells with the intention of avoiding enemy damage.

Knockback – a crowd control effect that pushed the target away from the caster’s position.

Knockup – a crowd control effect that sends the target into the air.

Kill Steal – to get a finishing blow on an enemy champion that would otherwise be killed by one of your allies with the intention of collecting the gold bounty.

Kill Secured – to get a finishing blow on an enemy champion with the intention of not letting him escape.


Lane bully – a champion that works particularly well against most champions during the laning phase.

Lane swap – a tactic that involves switching champions between two lanes in order to secure better matchups or gain other strategic advantages.

Laning – to kill enemy minions with the goal of farming or taking down the enemy turret.

Laning phase – a stage of the game where champions stay in their lanes to get gold and experience. Usually, lasts for the first 10-15 minutes.

Last hit – to get a finishing blow on a creep or an enemy champion. Last hitting is rewarded with gold.

Leash – to draw a monster’s aggro.


Main – a player’s most played/best champion.

Map awareness – to be alert to different events transpiring around the battlefield.

Map control – to obtain vision and influence over key areas of the battlefield.

Meta (metagame) – the optimal way to play the game that includes best champions, lane assignments, items, and team compositions.


Nerf – a direct loss of power of a certain item, champion, or concept due to the actions of the official developer.

Nuke – an ability that can quickly deal massive amounts of damage.


Objective – something that is sought after with the intention of getting a large advantage and winning the game.

Off tank – a champion that has certain qualities of a tank (survivability, crowd control, initiation abilities) but not enough to be considered ideal for the role.

Off meta – an item, champion, or a tactic that’s either unexplored or considered a suboptimal way to play the game.

Overextending – moving too far into the enemy territory and becoming exposed to ganks.

Overloaded (overtuned) – champions with too many powerful abilities in their kits. May also refer to items that are too strong for their cost.

Overkill – to deal more damage to an enemy than is necessary to finish him off.


Peeling – to use crowd control spells or other means to stop enemies from taking down an allied champion.

Poke – to attack from a long range with the goal of weakening your enemies while staying out of the harm’s way.

Positioning – a location of a champion during a fight.

Pot – Potion.

Proc – to activate an effect.

Proxy – a tactic that involves a champion going behind the enemy turrets to farm minions.

Push – to advance in a certain lane with the intention of killing minions and destroying turrets.


QSS (Quicksilver sash) – an item that has the ability to remove all crowd control effects from a champion.


R – the fourth (ultimate) ability that is usually bound to the “R” key.

Recall – an ability shared among all champions that allows them to return to base after an 8-second channel.

Roam – to leave your lane and move around the map with the goal of assisting your allies.

Root – a crowd control spell that locks the target in place. Also known as ‘snare’ or ‘immobilize’.


Scaling – a trait that refers to how much champions gain in power as they obtain levels and items.

Scrim – two teams battling each other in a non-competitive setting.

Shutdown – to slay an enemy that’s on a killing spree. Also can be used to describe complete dominance over your opponent.

Skillshot – a spell that needs to be aimed and can miss its mark.

Skin – a cosmetic feature that allows you to modify a champion’s looks before the game.

Slow – a debuff that decreases the target’s movement speed.

Snowball – a situation when a champion or a team gains a lead and uses it to obtain an even larger advantage and—eventually—win the game.

Splitpush – a tactic of pushing down a certain lane with the intention of getting farm and destroying turrets while your teammates are located elsewhere.

Steal – to land the finishing blow on the neutral monster that was either previously fighting the enemy team or was located on their part of the map.

Stealth – an effect that lets the caster remain invisible to his enemies.

Steroid – a temporary increase of a champion’s base stats, usually self-applied.

Stun – a crowd control effect that prevents the enemy from moving or taking any actions.

Suppression – an improved version of a stun that can’t be dispelled by anything other than the Quciksilver Sash.

Sustainability – a champion’s ability to stay in lane or in the jungle without returning to base or getting help from his allies.


Tank – a champion that can withstand huge amounts of damage. Usually, has powerful crowd control spells but doesn’t do much damage on his own.

Taunt – a crowd control ability that forces the target to attack the caster.

Team comp (team composition) – a certain combination of champions that works well together and has a particular approach to the game. For example, a Poke Comp is focused on poking down your opponents with long-range spells.

Teamfight – a situation when several champions do battle in a single area.

Tower hugging – staying near allied turrets to avoid enemy attacks.

Trade (Trading) – a situation when champions from opposing teams deal damage to each other.


Ult (Ultimate) – the most powerful spell in a champion’s arsenal that’s usually unlocked at level 6.

Utility – beneficial effects that affect the team and come from certain items or abilities.


Ward – an item that gets rid of the fog of war in the surrounding area.

Ward jump – the capacity of certain champions to use their dashes to move to allied wards.

Ward coverage – the amount of wards that provide vision around the battlefield.

Wombo combo – a situation when several champions use their abilities together to devastating effect.


ESB Staff

Since: August 10, 2015

At we are a group of independent journalists with one big passion: Esports. We've been following the industry and have contributed to its growth since 2015.

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