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1. An acronym coined by constructing a phrase from words whose initial letters spell an existing word or name. For example, wiki is a backronym when it is described as standing for what I know is because wiki is a previously existing word whose original meaning is "collaborative website."
2. The phrase whose initial letters spell out such a word.

[Blend of back and acronym.]


The result of taking an existing word (which is not an acronym) or an existing acronym and using each letter of that word or acronym as the initial letter of the words in a new phrase or sentence. In other words changing the meaning of an existing acronym by making it stand for something else or treating a real word as if it were an acronym.
References in periodicals archive ?
A bacronym is an acronym that is formed in a backward manner: instead of an existing phrase being abbreviated to form an acronym, an existing word is chosen first as the target acronym and a phrase is devised to match it.
The true origin of a word can be acronymic; the true origin cannot be fully bacronymic, however, since a bacronym by definition precedes its expansion.
There is a claimed acronymic etymology based on "mash until no good," which surely smells bad to me; of course the alternative recursive (self-referential) acronym from "mung until no good" can only be a bacronym.