What is To Be Determined (TBD)?

Definition: To Be Determined (TBD) is a matter that hasn’t being decided yet. It refers to something that is yet unknown.

What Does “To Be Determined” (TBD) Mean?

The term to be determined (TBD) is frequently use to describe the current situation of a particular matter. It is used in different context and it is not limited to business environments. It indicates that there’s still more research to be done about it before a final conclusion can be presented. In business meetings, the term might be used as the current status of a particular point of the agenda.

For example, if there was a pending task or situation that had to be addressed and a person wants to inquire about the status of that matter, the answer “it is yet to be determined” can be given if there’s no result available to be shown at the moment. In internet slang, for example in chat rooms or digital conversations, the abbreviation is often employed too. Corporate e-mails and messaging apps are the most common platforms where this term can be found.


Mr. Patrick is a lawyer working for a big law firm called Ford & Bayer Co. He currently holds the position of Senior Mercantile Attorney; that means he manages a big team of lawyers that work in different projects with clients from the business field. They register companies, work with government authorities and provide business advice to clients. Each Monday, he reviews the current projects with his team to get updates and feedback about how things are going.

Each team member has to provide a list with each project and comment about the current stage of each. When he asks specific questions the team has the tradition to say “TBD” when the answer is still unclear or unknown. Everyone knows that means “to be determined” and Patrick had previously stated that whenever they say that he will assume that they are working on it to get from TBD to a specific answer.