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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 ?
Consider now the pronunciation of acronymic formations (Lopez-Rua's PRON parameter).
Like other loan words, acronymic derivations bring in sounds that are foreign to the Ndebele phonological system and help establish the sounds in the phonology.
In this case, no metaphor is at work in [N.sub.1] but a metonymic process by which the salient part of a form (NINJA) stands for the whole form ('no income, no job, and no assets') in an acronymic formation which at the same time stands for the person to whom the loan is granted on the basis on the metonymy salient property ('having no income, no job, and no assets') for category ('people characterized by this property').
For those unfamiliar with the origins and roles of the acronymic global economic organizations that control much of the world's economic policies, a useful primer is offered in "The ABCs of the Global Economy" and other essays.
on who is racially and nationality-wise to be considered appointable in academic positions, and who is not; on whom I may, racially speaking, invite as a visiting lecturer and whom not; on how many additional per cent graduate students I have to recruit this year; on how many publications I must produce, and in what kind of journals; on how many students I must rake in to make my courses viable, in abstraction from all other criteria; and on how I must 'align' my research and teaching with acronymic formulae posing as strategic plans, while maintaining the requisite levels of 'research fun'.
Dr Khai was responsible for developing the ILO tool acronymic WARM; and for pilot-testing the tool in other countries in the region too.
If English is to matter, it has to make a difference to the whole person who walks out at the end of the lesson: any LOs, WALTS, WILFS and other acronymic inventions are only a small part of that whole, though more measurable in a culture of Strategy and Inspection which has less interest in the forest because of an obsession with trees.
With a cylindrical casing made of zamac--an acronymic alloy of zinc, aluminum, magnesium, and copper--the XtremKey can supposedly be run over by a 10-ton truck without flinching.
If the list seems long, it's very short compared to Robert Patton's proposed complete Acronymic Dictionary of English (73-37).
Not only is Jacques Derrida David Jackson's acronymic inverse--JD and DJ--no accidents--but Merrill is already blurring the line.
(47) Administrative agencies whose acronymic names are familiar to lawyers and laypeople alike perform a significant proportion of the federal government's labors, yet are created by statutes and are governed largely by another statute--the Administrative Procedure Act (48)--and its accompanying judicial interpretations.