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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 ?
You're sure to find pleonasms with initialisms and acronyms, such as AC current, CAD design, DOS operating system and the HIV virus.
As a result, the OED has included several initialisms commonly used online, including TTC (trying to conceive).
6) and acronyms and initialisms in which "a typical acronym takes the first sound from each of several words and makes a new word from those initial sounds.
OK might well have passed into oblivion with other such initialisms, but in the 1840 American presidential campaign it became associated with the Democratic O.
Our analysis will be limited to European Portuguese (EP) (2) and follow a methodology previously adopted: the oralization of abbreviations as initialisms or acronyms.
In her attempt to account for the otherwise unpredictable nature of acronyms, initialisms, clippings and blends, Paula Lopez Rua (2004) makes an attempt to formulate the parameters and values for what we take to be the degree of analyzability of these expressions.
Jonathan Dent, senior assistant editor of the OED, said the additions include "a slew of initialisms associated with the social media".
Also included were compound words like batchmate, so-called blends of clipped words like mani-pedi or manicure-pedicure, initialisms like KKB or kaniya-kaniyang bayad, Filipinized translations like go down to mean get off a vehicle, conversions of nouns into adjectives, such as high blood to mean angry, agitated, as well as complete changes of word denotations, such as gimmick to mean a night out with friends, and salvage, which means to kill instead of to save.
The new entries include borrowings from Tagalog, hybrid expressions, derivations, compounds, blends and clippings, initialisms, loan translations, conversions from one part of speech to another, and English words used in the Philippines given complete changes in meanings.
This Note uses "drone" to refer to all of these initialisms and, specifically, for any unmanned, electronic or mechanical instrument that flies and uses sensory technology to acquire information.
Appendix A lists the acronyms and initialisms used in the article.