A message indicating that someone is unavailable, especially on an instant messaging service.
- Once they are wired into a college's Internet, away from parental controls, young people often step up their use of away messages, changing them three, four, even 25 or 30 times a day.
- If the phone was busy, and an away message was up, he would keep IMing her.
- It's great, except it seems to have a mind of its own at times (rapidly changing away messages, person-specific announcements going off at odd times, etc.).
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