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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 ?
While reading a draft of our feature on TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, page 22), it occurred to me that far and away the most popular variety of astro acronym is feminine names.
Before FOD becomes the JIT or TQM acronym of our time, I hope more definition and clarity is provided --with data--so those inundated with surveys, questionnaires, consultant solicitations and "do or die" customer ultimatums regarding the eradication of FOD everywhere in our facilities can come to a clear consensus definition of an anti-FOD plan.
Somewhere out there, acronyms are getting together, breeding, getting bigger, stronger and more complex.
This enables the Free FAA Acronyms App to be a living app updated consistently by NSG and users alike--one of the first living apps of its kind.
The use of acronyms in Ndebele is an English influence; hence they remain in English phonology, even when used in Ndebele.
Some acronyms are so instantly recognizable, but with time we may forget what it originally stood for and be obscure even to healthcare workers.
Many third-party administrators find that their benefits industry colleagues are familiar with many of the acronyms they use.
I think IT is widely perceived as being the acronym for Information Technology don't you?
This acronym for random access memory is pronounced ram, and next to the CPU it's generally the second most important component of a component.
In some cases, acronyms become proper names referring to countries or companies (like USA or IBM).
Instead of providing TMI, acronyms often provide too little, becoming a barrier to communication when they cause confusion.