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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 ?
The phrase was an initialism, an abbreviation for the phrase "oil korrect," which was part of a trend during the period of abbreviating intentionally misspelled phrases to create new terms--not unlike the 21st-century emergence of text-speak abbreviations like LOLZ or OMG.
We do use initialism for certain terms, for good reason.
Although this initialism is used as shorthand in this article, the term disguises the extraordinary diversity of human experiences of sexuality and gender by conflating the potentially very different experiences of different sexual minorities.
Although Bar-Haim (2010), who initiated work on the program, used the initialism ABM (attentional bias modification), this work has adopted ABMT for the sake of clarity, following the practice of Renwick et al.
L]) as an initialism (=['be'[epsilon]]) and the oralization of an abbreviation which differs from this one in just one segment and in syllable weight--"BES" ([[sigma].
Another interesting case is the combination of an initialism and a clipped form in 5sosFam, which stands for "5 Seconds of Summer [i.
The three partner institutions will share their complimentary abilities, said Horst Friedrich, director of the Institute of Vehicle Concepts at the German Aerospace Center (known as DLR, the initialism of its German name).
originally an initialism for Empresa Nacional de Electricidad, S.
which often goes by the unpronounceable initialism RLUIPA but which we call 'the Act' so that the opinion can be understood by normal people.
CPM is a view-based measurement that stands for cost per thousand impressions (the initialism stands for "cost per mille"), and CPM rates for video advertising have fluctuated widely through the years.