The Roman numeral language has been used for thousands of years, even in the 21st century’s modern communication.

Therefore many times people have come across the numeral III and wondered what is the meaning of this III especially in texting, and why is it still used.

The numeric III means simply the number 3, or as the dictionary defines it:

*“the cardinal number that is the sum of one and one and one”*

So let’s discuss the numeral origin of III and other acronyms and abbreviations of the letters iii used in modern language.

**Roman Numeral Language: a Brief History**

The Roman numeral system has been around for millennia. From the ancient Rome around 700 BC to the newer Roman Empire of 27 BC.

This counting system has been the predominant system and its traces back to ancient times are still evident in archeological finds.

By the 14th century, the Arabic numerals, or, modern counting, largely replaced the Roman system as it was much more precise, as in, it included the value 0 and allowed division into decimals.

The Roman numeral III denotes the modern number 3. I or 1 is the lowest number in Roman numbers and no further decimal places have ever been created in this language of numbers.

The language does extend numbers up to thousands and hundreds with letters M and C respectively, here’s a table of the individual units in the Roman numerals and where they stand in the Arabic numbers:

**Roman Numbers**

Arabic Number | Thousands | Hundreds | Tens | Units |

1 | M | C | X | I |

2 | MM | CC | XX | II |

3 | MMM | CCC | XXX | III |

4 | CD | XL | IV | |

5 | D | L | V | |

6 | DC | LX | VI | |

7 | DCC | LXX | VII | |

8 | DCCC | LXXX | VIII | |

9 | CM | XC | IX |

**Modern use of Roman numbers**

Roman numerals have been largely replaced by Arabic numbers, still, there are a few uses in the modern world of this ancient number system:

**Space Exploration:**U.S. rocket models often use Roman numerals for versions, like Titan I, II, and III. Similarly, Saturn I and V rockets are named.**Astronomy:**The moons of planets are designated by Roman numerals following the planet’s name. For instance, Saturn’s moon Titan is known as Saturn VI.**Chemistry:**While no longer officially preferred, Roman numerals sometimes denote groups in the periodic table. They also appear in naming oxidation states of cations and various phases of crystals like ice.**Education:**Some school systems use Roman numerals for grades, like “grade IX” instead of “grade 9.”**Entomology:**The broods of cicadas with 13- or 17-year life cycles are identified by Roman numerals.**Graphic Design:**Stylish Roman numerals can represent numeric values.**Law:**Legal codes are often organized using Roman numerals within an alphanumeric system.**Mathematics:**Quadrants in graphs with negative numbers are named using Roman numerals (I, II, III, IV) to avoid confusion with the actual data (represented by Arabic numerals). Quadrant I signifies positive values on both axes and so on.**Military:**Roman numerals distinguish units at different levels, especially army corps (e.g., American XVIII Airborne Corps). This helps avoid confusion on strategic maps. Divisions and armies typically use Arabic numerals.

**Music:**- Movements in symphonies or concertos are often numbered with Roman numerals (e.g., Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Movement I).
- Roman numeral analysis helps identify harmonic functions within a piece of music.
- String instruments like violins use Roman numerals to denote strings, with higher numbers representing lower-pitched strings (e.g., Violin string I is the highest).

**Pharmacy:**The historical apothecaries’ system, now largely obsolete, employed Roman numerals for measurements. For example, “SS” meant “one half” and “N” meant “zero.”**Photography:**The Zone System, a method for controlling exposure, uses Roman numerals (including zero) to represent different brightness levels.**Seismology:**The Mercalli intensity scale, which measures earthquake intensity, utilizes Roman numerals to designate its degrees.**Sports:**Roman numerals indicate teams with the highest level of players. For instance, “1st XV” refers to the top rugby union team, while lower-ranked teams in cricket or American football might be designated “3rd XI.”**Tarot:**The Major Arcana cards in a tarot deck are frequently numbered with Roman numerals (including zero).**Theology:**The Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament, is often abbreviated as “LXX,” referencing the supposed 70 translators (Septuagint in Latin means “seventy”).

**Use of III in texting**

Now that we understand the origin of this mesmerizing and complex numeral system, let’s talk about the meaning of III in texting and how modern language makes newer acronyms every day.

- As Abbreviations:

Term | Definition |

III | Interstate Identification Index |

III | Insteel Industries, Inc. |

III | Immediate Intensive Intervention |

III | Industry Institute Interface |

III | Insurance Information Institute |

III | Insurance Institute of Ireland |

III | Inanimate Insanity Invitational |

- Why would III be used in texting?

There can be multiple reasons for the number III to be used in texting, let’s discuss them here:

**To add flair to the text:**using the number III to denote 3 can be some sort of emphasis, for example,

*“I ate III frikkin’ burgers dog!”*

**Online gaming chat:**using Roman numerals as code to communicate with team members in open-platform chats, like,

*“Find me in building XIII room IV!”*

**Coding and machine learning:**coders use Roman numerals to input a command for a robot simply with their mobile phones. This sort of text-based command has been the foundation of modern coding.

- Other meanings of III in texting

A very common use of the Arabic number counterpart of III is to express love.

Funny as it may sound, the number 3 is used to express a variety of emotions in modern texting, especially in the “Gen Z Lingo”. Using the Math sign < and joining 3 with it makes <3, aka, the shape of a heart sent to a loved one. Similarly, adding the sign / in between these makes the sign of heartbreak, </3.

Another emoji is made by joining a full colon with 3, making :3 which depicts an expression made after saying something funny or snarky and being snobby about it.

As confusing as it is for older generations to understand what is the meaning of III and other symbols like it in texting, it is a part of, Gen Z’s, daily conversation online.

**Conclusion**

The meaning of III in texting is rather something non-specific.

It can mean a variety of things, from designating a number to a certain object, to an abbreviation, and even goofy things such as emojis.

More generically, the number III is from the Roman Numeral System. It originates from ancient Rome and has been modified over time to become one of the largest number systems used before the Arabic system replaced it.

The number 3 is the counterpart for the Roman III, and it is used widely in texting today to create emojis like <3. This type of slang is to express emotions with a language other than words.