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see abbreviationabbreviation,
in writing, arbitrary shortening of a word, usually by cutting off letters from the end, as in U.S. and Gen. (General). Contraction serves the same purpose but is understood strictly to be the shortening of a word by cutting out letters in the middle, the omission
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An identifier formed from some of the letters (often the initials) of a phrase and used as an abbreviation. This dictionary contains a great many acronyms; see the contents page for a list.

See also TLA.


A word typically made up of the first letters of two or more words; for example, BASIC stands for "Beginners All purpose Symbolic Instruction Code." Letters within a word are also used; for example, XML means "eXtensible Markup Language."

Technically, if only first letters are used, the term is an "initialism," but this distinction is not widely made. For an excellent acronym resource, visit See backronym.
References in periodicals archive ?
IT, for instance, is known as ICT, probably to comply with some European directive that mandates at least three letters in an acronym.
A further 35 per cent admit they use acronyms to make them sound more credible and 'in the know'.
What is apparent, though, is that the web is really taking off, with acronyms such as WWW and ISP making their way into the English language and a large number of people understanding what they mean.
Added Stein, "People seem to be getting more comfortable in their general use of IM as a conversational medium with more and more slang entering their acronym use--LMAO and NCIH are prime examples.
I was worried I'd have to take a class in acronyms.
The free all is simply called FAA Acronyms Mobile App.
The NSG Free FAA Acronyms Mobile App is an easy to use, searchable list of many of the commonly used acronyms used by the FAA and the aviation industry.
For all their potential for confusion, acronyms serve a legitimate function, allowing people in the benefits industry--or any group--to say and write things faster.
It's an acronym, with the initials standing for "Technology Without An Interesting Name.
Acronyms are very widely used in every type of text, and therefore have to be considered as a research issue as linguistic objects and as named entities.
This reference offers concise definitions for about 7,500 terms and acronyms related to medical insurance, billing, and coding.
4 Do avoid acronyms as far as possible, but if you must use them, define them--every single one, however obvious you think it is.