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abbreviation, 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 sometimes being indicated by an apostrophe, as in the word don't. Most abbreviations are followed by a period. Usage, however, differs widely, and recently omission of periods has become common, as in NATO and UN. Acronyms are combinations of the first letters/syllables in a group of words to form a new grouping of letters that can be pronounced as a word. A period is never used when apostrophes appear. A list of abbreviations used in this encyclopedia may be found in the prefatory matter.
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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.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (


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." Artificial intelligence is "AI." The computer industry is loaded with acronyms, and technicians love using them to the consternation of non-computer people.

If only the first letters of the words are used, the term is technically an "initialism," but this distinction is hardly ever made. Letters within a word and contiguous letters are widely used; for example, XML means "eXtensible Markup Language and MP4 stands for MPEG4. For an excellent acronym resource, visit For the mother of all acronyms, see TLA. See backronym.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Government Equalities Office, 2018), the panel opted to replace use of the LGBT acronym with LGB&T (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender)."
Other researchers contend that when acronyms have a meaning that corresponds to one denoted by an established word and they are mentioned in a relevant context which both speakers are familiar with, their processing effort is minimized to a great extent.
Acronym comes from the Greek akron (end, tip) and onuma (name).
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.
(you have to have the exclamation mark...) Which means: It's good to see the acronym makers being a bit tonguein-cheek.
One of the more confusing uses of acronyms I have ever witnessed happened during a trip to Minnesota.
What better way to end these musings than with a new acronym (not an initialism or an abbreviation, but a real acronym): STRESS--STOP REGULATORY EXCESSES!
According to NSG, the app is an easy to use, searchable list of many of the commonly used acronyms used by the FAA and the aviation industryIt is downloadable for iOS (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Android (NASDAQ: GOOG) mobile devices including iPhones, iPads, and Android hand-held and tablet mobile devices.
Abbreviations and acronyms are methods of shortening phrases, using the first letters of each word or the first two letters.
In dermatopathology, some authors found the acronym as a 'playful' way to name a lesion with combined dermatology tumors and they coined the acronyms METRO (MElanocytic tumor + TRichOblastoma) and CAMEL (CArcinoma + MELanoma) to facilitate memorization of such combination.30
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.
All of the preceding examples are commonplace in the English-speaking world, however there are many instances where acronyms are use incorrectly in business, thus causing great confusion.