What is 5e short for in Dungeons & Dragons?

Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition

On Dungeons & Dragons forums, wikis, and other web pages, 5e is short for "5th edition." As of 2020, 5th edition is the most recent ruleset used to play DnD.

Since its initial release in 1974, D&D has been played using a variety of rules. D&D's original ruleset consisted of three comparatively slight books, which were added on to via a variety of supplemental material.

In 1977, D&D's developers decided that they needed to streamline and reorganize the game's initial ruleset. To do this, they produced both a basic and advanced (AD&D) version of D&D. (Which yes, was still somehow less confusing than D&D's previous ruleset.) AD&D's second edition was released in 1989, but in 2000, the game's developers condensed basic and advanced D&D back into one game with Dungeons & Dragons Third Edition (3e).

Since then, D&D has released a fourth (4e) and fifth (5e) edition of its ruleset, with 5e proving incredibly popular. Notably, D&D 5e allows players and DMs to focus on creating a compelling narrative, by streamlining some of the mathematics that slowed down play in earlier editions.


"What version of D&D do you guys play?"
"Oh, our group loves 5e."
A DnD player gushing over a 5e expansion

A DnD player gushing over a 5e expansion

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Last Updated: November 19, 2020

5e definition

This page explains what the abbreviation "5e" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slangit team.

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