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An abbreviation consisting of the first letter or letters of words in a phrase (for example, IRS for Internal Revenue Service), syllables or components of a word (TNT for trinitrotoluene), or a combination of words and syllables (ESP for extrasensory perception) and pronounced by spelling out the letters one by one rather than as a solid word.


(Languages) an acronym in which each letter is pronounced separately, rather than the acronym being pronounced as a word


(ɪˈnɪʃ əˌlɪz əm)

an abbreviation or acronym formed from the initial letters of a group of words.


, alphabetism, acronym - Initialisms (sometimes called alphabetisms) are formed from the initial letters of a string of words and are pronounced as a sequence of letters, e.g. BYOB, USA, DVD. Acronyms are formed from the initial letters or parts of words in a sequence, but have the distinction of being pronounceable words, e.g. RADAR, SCUBA.
See also related terms for sequence.
References in periodicals archive ?
Appendix A lists the acronyms and initialisms used in the article.
An extensive selection of specialised concepts and terms are introduced here (plus their accompanying initialisms, from SIS, SIL, and SIF to PFDavg, FMEDA, and FIT).
In addition, initialisms and abbreviations have been added to Oxford Dictionaries.
It is a familiar practice: initialisms and acronyms on name authority records are unqualified see-references to their authorized headings.
A brief list of initialisms appears at the end of the book, although one imagines that most specialized readers would not need it.
com launches new webpage showing the top 50 acronyms and initialisms that people are looking up every day.
The initialisms make the complexity only slightly more palatable.
In the first quarterly update of 2011, the OED included a number of new initialisms in its pages, to wit, LOL, BFF, IMHO, and OMG (that's laugh out loud, best friends forever, in my humble opinion, and oh my God), thus legitimizing the terms used by millions in texts, e-mails, and instant messages.
com/author/don-hauptman) contained April Fools' Day acronyms and initialisms.
com The world's largest and most comprehensive directory and search engine for acronyms, abbreviations and initialisms on the Internet http://www.
This is a lovely re-creation of an Iowa girlhood before the invasion of the electrified time-wasters and soul-deadening initialisms of TV, PC and IM.
Acronyms and initialisms are acceptable in headlines for well-known entities such as the NAACP, the FDA, the IRS, and FEMA.