acronym

[ak-ruh-nim]
noun
1.
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.
2.
a set of initials representing a name, organization, or the like, with each letter pronounced separately; an initialism.
3.
verb (used with object)
4.
to make an acronym of: The committee's name has been acronymed MIKE.

Origin:
1940–45; acr- + -onym

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

abbreviation, acronym, initialism.


See abbreviation.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
acronym (ˈækrənɪm)
 
n
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]
 
acro'nymic
 
adj
 
acronymous
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

acronym
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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Example sentences
But remembering the acronyms used to denote specific experiments poses another
  layer of difficulty.
It would be helpful to all if acronyms are spelled out.
We knew the military had an awesomely bad collection of acronyms.
People toss out acronyms that bounce off my brain and splat on the floor,
  unabsorbed.
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