Software engineers frequently refer to two types of website users. The user has been logged into the application and the ones that haven't.

As the logged-in users always have a session on the application, I considered choosing sessioner. However, most spell checkers mark it as a misspelled word.

Are there any better single-world alternatives, please?

Members and guests/visitors can be used to refer to logged-in users and not-logged-in users! But both have other types of connotations that make the less than ideal to purely refer to authenticated and not-authenticate users.


5 Answers 5


This is a different exchange that seems to conclude that there is no good single word. Some suggest Member.


Other possibilities:

If you are looking for a word to describe recent (but not necessarily current) users I'd suggest returner as it implies that they are likely to be back. (This is how I think of active users. They generally interact with the product, but might not be currently on). Also, constituent might work depending on your context. Constituent is normally used for a voter in an election, but does imply occasional interaction and is most likely not used for anything else on your application.

For specifically people who are logged on at this moment in time I might suggest submitter. However, this would seem to also include anyone that has submitted a request even if they have now logged off (for example a bug report might have a submitter that is not current). Another option is actor. Actors are be definition doing some action (outside of movie/play context) and therefore is a decent word for the currently active users.

If you just want unique words that are marginally related, what about bustler or hustler. They both share the same formal definition according to Webster, but the second has a bad connotation so the first is a better option. Both imply activity which is related to currently logged on. You could even use a more out there word such as adventurer and just have a local comment giving it meaning.

Overall, I believe Constituent and Actor are the best two options I could come up with.

  • +1 for actor. I think that might be the best option for OP.
    – Zack
    Jul 15, 2019 at 20:29
  • I really like the "actor", it is also compatible with "actor" in use-case diagram. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actor_(UML) Jul 18, 2019 at 1:06
  • I intended to mark your answer for the bounty, sadly the question is put on hold. Jul 20, 2019 at 0:20

Active users are those who have used a given online service during a specific period of time (e.g., for the last month), whereas current users are those who are currently logged in.

As far as I know, there's no single word for a "currently logged in user" that is idiomatically used in the industry. A "current user" is as far as you can shorten it. So if you're simply using it for the internal labeling, I suggest you use the word 'current' or 'logged-in', because the 'user' label is always redundant in your situation.

  • 1
    If a time period isn't specified I believe that 'active user(s)' would be interpreted as 'users currently interacting with the system' and would be just as valid as 'current users'. This meaning should also be reasonably clear from the broader context of any statements in which it is used. As a web designer, I'd suggest 'active user(s)' is less vulnerable to misinterpretation than any of the other suggestions (including my own) and I think this outweighs any perceived benefits of a single word term. Also, it is a natural fit for the 'blank' in the example provided by the OP. Jul 18, 2019 at 21:22
  • Current and active are both ambiguous in the same way: they can mean that one is logged in, or merely that one has recently been logged in with reasonable frequency. If one wishes to use either of them unambiguously, one has to explicitly disambiguate it. Alternatively, one can just use logged-in, which is not ambiguous in that way.
    – jsw29
    Jul 21, 2019 at 15:32

'Operant' is a good fit; the current operator of the application or website. This is a less specific equivalent to the driver of car, pilot of a plane etc, which are by definition the 'current user' of these devices.

From https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/operant and also https://www.dictionary.com/browse/operant

An operative person or thing

References per the request from @shoover.

  • Here at EL&U, we're looking for high-quality answers with references, not based on "I think" or "It feels." Please edit your answer to provide some citations for this usage.
    – shoover
    Jul 16, 2019 at 22:58
  • Answer updated as requested. Jul 17, 2019 at 8:26
  • 'operant' is another really good candidate after 'actor'. an issue is spell checkers which mark it as a typo. Jul 18, 2019 at 1:08
  • 1
    ‘Operator’ and ‘operative’ are also worth considering; I prefer the latter. You would need to ensure this was recognised as a noun, rather than an adjective meaning ‘functional’ - see dictionary.com/browse/operative, but this should be clear from the context. Might also address your spell-check issue. Jul 18, 2019 at 2:31

We ussually refer to such users as visitors. It says that this user is currently looking at web page and it is active. It only refers to users for the amount of time when he or she is clicking on web page / app.


I suggest the word online for the words currently logged in.

For instance : Frequently developers need to refer to the user who is [online/currently logged in] on the application.

For reference, take this excerpt from Wikipedia (especially the last sentence):

With the growing communication tools and media, the words offline and online are used very frequently. If a person is active over a messaging tool and is able to accept the messages it is termed as online message and if the person is not available and the message is left to view when the person is back, it is termed as offline message. In the same context, the person's availability is termed as online and non-availability is termed as offline.


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