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IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is a chat protocol initially developed as a means of communication back in the days of BBS (Bulletin Board System).

Clients connect to a specified server which is part of a collection of servers known as an IRC network. If a client is to send a message to a user on a different server within the same IRC network, the message is relayed between the servers and then to the other client.

IRC is a text only means of communication, non-text communications or files are sent via IRC's file transfer protocol, known as DCC.

Unlike other chat protocols, IRC does not require you to have an account that you sign in with, but most IRC networks offer you the ability to reserve your nickname.

Common IRC clients include X-Chat, mIRC, Irssi and BitchX.
I went to chat on IRC last night but ghee was lagged..
by webjunkie June 11, 2005
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Abbreviation for Internet Relay Chat. A multiplayer notepad.
by dIRe_ July 31, 2003
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Internet Relay Chat; It's how hackers talk when they don't want to be overheard. It's a pretty primitive chat program. Think of it like shipping channels in the ocean: you can't see them until a boat cuts through the water leaving a wake. If two boats meet in the middle of the ocean to swap a load of illegal drugs, you have to catch them in realtime. Otherwise there's no record of the meeting left behind.
***connecting to port_6667 of #channel irc
***loading .ircr version 2.9.5+Cr17f+F08
***users on #channel: @the_fist, @00zemeister
> the_fist G07 4 5urpr153 4 U
by Numb3rs lol November 14, 2009
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Internet Relay Chat
-designed to make chatting as discouraging as possible for the casual user. Its windows95 style interface and text-only format on black or white backgrounds make it feel lifeless and dull. When one first opens IRC, one can only stare into the blank black screen; there is no welcome window and no cute little sound to tell you your friends are on. All this, designed with the intention
of keeping out: da n00bzours.
Lonely men and women sit in silence before their computers at night, staring maniacally as pages of text scrolls before their eyes. The phrases and gestures, pleading and begging for attention, only hint at life, but this is almost forgotten as you bark off a laugh after a good exchange. But as the jokes and laughter subside you realize you are sitting alone in your underwear at 3am, laughing in the dark. This is the state of being that is; IRC.
by puadxe January 12, 2007
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It's a place where broken and odd people gather to get drunk in a flood of text and insanity.
Many people in irc share thoughts and feelings that they would never reveal to another human on a personal level.
by Kurisuchanrin June 14, 2004
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IRC is a colossal time waster. Its a place to go chat instead of having a social life. I've replaced studying for exams with IRC
I have an exam 10 minutes ago
by mikeshoup November 18, 2004
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