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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 ?
In reaching its decision, the panel also considered other acronyms which might better represent the vast range of sexualities and gender identities.
Whether all-business, playful, or groan-inducing, astro acronyms allow us to cut to the chase with what are often unimaginably complicated experiments, instruments, or missions.
WE pass them by, pop them in our trollies and use them in everyday speech but how much do we really know about the acronyms and shortforms behind our favourite products?
It was around this time that the acronym began to feature in national media.
When the BFP official informed him it was an acronym, the President then said: "Acronym.
There were possibly hundreds of additional acronyms we might have listed, but we couldn't devote more than two pages to the article.
Continue reading "'Datlash,' a Hebrew Acronym, Gives Formerly Religious Israeli Writers Greater Freedom Than Their American Counterparts" at...
BEIRUT: Supporters of the opposition have begun using a new acronym to refer to Lebanon's Hezbollah, after the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) became a household word.
BRIC is a grouping acronym that refers to the countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, which are all deemed to be at a similar stage of newly advanced economic development.
This person was of course referring to the familiar acronym LGBT, which stands for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered.
A few minutes into the meeting the deputy interrupted the proceedings and declared: "No more acronyms!" The offending acronym was "Pru Re."
There is no acronym in Ndebele that is derived from Ndebele words.