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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.
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.
A decade and a half ago, Massimo D'Alema, then leader of the Partito Democratico della Sinistra, the successor to the Italian Communist Party (since dissolved, after a number of acronymic transformations, into the centrist Partito Democratico), wrote a 'manifesto' entitled Un paese normale, a normal country.
For one thing, he was continually dismayed by Sharett's high regard for the United Nations, in acronymic Hebrew "Oom," scene of many of his most exhilarating moments and highest accomplishments.
A common acronymic surname is Katz, which stands for Kohein Tzaddik (righteous priest) and explains why many Katzes have Cohen status.
PDT very much apes that other acronymic, PMT: guts ache, headache, muck sweats, rollercoaster moods, yo-yo blood pressure, escalating stress.
For one thing, the arts are handled by the Department of Canadian Heritage (a worrisome situation in itself), which pursues two strategic objectives, known in acronymic bureaucratese as SO1 and SO2.
Offering the acronymic F-A-T-S method of eating and activity, and the P-L-A-N method for changing bad eating and activity habits, how to use a hunger scale to control eating, and how reading food labels can provide one with valuable information about food choices, Teen Nutrition: What's the Big Debate?
Once you have had a chance to take the acronymic measure of your discussion mate, you can turn up the abbrevomania dial to the right volume.
It could just be, however, that I tend to take my acronymic mergers a bit too literally.
Even when the elderly do get some rare attention and support, like when a certain Republican senator from Ohio champions a creative, bipartisan piece of long-term care legislation--with the acronymic moniker "The CLASS Act," of all things--they tragically lose him in the next election.