This emoticon literally means "heart" since that is what it looks when viewed sideways. In IM language though, it's a less serious way of saying somebody you "love" them, or at least "care for" them. Even if you do really "love" somebody, you don't want to say it every minute and every day -- it gets old and may even scare him or her. So, use "<3" for normal every day conversations, reserving "love" during the times you really want the other to know you mean it.
(Sample IM chat)

you: ok, i'm going to sleep now.
her: nitey nite <3
you: <3 you too.

(sign off)
by Meta Bolic November 12, 2007
Some people use this as a heart, but those people are wrong. It is clearly a ballsack.
I <3 you (I ballsack you)
by AtomicBono June 22, 2005
When viewed sideways, appears to be the outline of a heart. Used in an expression of love.
I less than three you baby!
by xrxgirl June 25, 2005
Love, or Heart.
I <3 you! or... <3 for Julie!
by Sarah <3 September 26, 2003
A heart. Usually means love.
I <3 you
equals to:
I love you
by Nasiu March 29, 2005
a annoying way of putting a heart online
mostly used by 15-17 year old girls who have nothing more to do than kiss boys that wear the same pants as them
OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGO MOMGO MOGM i <3 his pants i want to kiss him
by craigums March 06, 2005
love, or more literally "heart"
I <3 you. ( I "heart" you, or I "love" you )
by Christina Camp June 10, 2005
a heart. just sideways
i <3 you. = i heart you.
i </3 you. = i don't heart you.
by some girl__ June 24, 2005

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