a word formed from the initial letters or groups of letters of words in a set phrase or series of words and pronounced as a separate word, as Wac from Women's Army Corps, OPEC from Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or loran from long-range navigation.
a set of initials representing a name, organization, or the like, with each letter pronounced separately; an initialism.
verb (used with object)
to make an acronym of: The committee's name has been acronymed MIKE.

1940–45; acr- + -onym

acronymic, acronymous [uh-kron-uh-muhs] , adjective
acronymically, adverb

abbreviation, acronym, initialism.

See abbreviation. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
acronym (ˈækrənɪm)
a pronounceable name made up of a series of initial letters or parts of words; for example, UNESCO for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization
[C20: from acro- + -onym]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1943 coinage from acro-, comb. form of Gk. akros "tip, end" (see acrid) + Eng. -onym "name" (abstracted from homonym; see name). The practice was non-existent before 20c. except in cabalistic esoterica and acrostic poetry.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
acronym [(ak-ruh-nim)]

A word formed by combining the beginning letters of a name or phrase, as in WASP for white Anglo-Saxon Protestant, or by combining the initial syllables of a series of words, as in radar, which stands for radio detecting and ranging.

Note: Acronyms are often less clumsy than the complete expressions they represent and are easier to write and remember.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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