Meaning of initialism in English:


Pronunciation /ɪˈnɪʃəlɪz(ə)m/


  • An abbreviation consisting of initial letters pronounced separately (e.g. BBC).

    Compare with acronym

    ‘An acronym is a word group created in a similar way to an initialism but which is pronounced as a word.’
    • ‘It is usually acceptable to start a sentence with an acronym or initialism that begins with a capital letter.’
    • ‘We have a photo gallery, an index of every article published from 1956 to present, and a list of aviation terms, acronyms, initialisms and jargon.’
    • ‘Perhaps it is our acquired behavioural bias towards haste that has caused it, but there is certainly something in the modern mind which is attracted to abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, I consider acronyms and initialisms can be a better choice than the long form names they represent.’
    • ‘Practice varies with regard to periods, with current usage increasingly in favor of omitting them, especially when the initialism consists entirely of capital letters.’
    • ‘If either the full form or initialism appears only in a source other than the chief source, give this form in a note; do not record as other title information.’
    • ‘So just remember to shave off that last unnecessary word when using acronyms and initialisms, and you'll be fine.’
    • ‘You don't always have to use the initialism, of course.’
    • ‘Below is a master list of the names, acronyms, initialisms, and abbreviations associated with the un-manned satellites that are mentioned in this Website.’
    • ‘A word is a rather abstract concept, a ‘unit of language’, so who's to say an initialism, when placed in a sentence, doesn't immediately become an acronym?’
    • ‘Actually it's an initialism, but how do you pronounce it?’
    • ‘We are more interested in defining ‘acronyms’ for you than we are in trying to properly distinguish between abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms.’
    initial letter, beginning letter