initialism

[ih-nish-uh-liz-uhm]
noun
1.
a set of initials representing a name, organization, or the like, with each letter pronounced separately, as FBI for Federal Bureau of Investigation.
2.
a name or term formed from the initial letters of a group of words and pronounced as a separate word, as NATO for North Atlantic Treaty Organization; an acronym.
3.
the practice of using initials or forming words from initials.

Origin:
1895–1900; initial + -ism

abbreviation, acronym, initialism.


See abbreviation.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Listings are alphabetical with the acronym or initialism followed by its full word equivalent.
An initialism is similar to acronym but is not pronounced as a word.
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