of, pertaining to, or occurring at the beginning; first: the initial step in a process.
Phonetics. occurring at the beginning of a word or syllable, as the (k) sound of kite, chasm, or quay.
an initial letter, as of a word.
the first letter of a proper name.
a letter of extra size or an ornamental character used at the beginning of a chapter or other division of a book, manuscript, or the like.
verb (used with object), initialed, initialing or (especially British) initialled, initialling.
to mark or sign with an initial or the initials of one's name, especially as a token of preliminary or informal approval.

1520–30; < Latin initiālis, equivalent to initi(um) beginning (init-, noun derivative of inīre to enter, begin; in- in-2 + īre to go; cf. comes) + -ium -ium) + -alis -al1

initialer, noun
initially, adverb
preinitial, verb (used with object)
subinitial, verb (used with object), subinitialed, subinitialing or (especially British) subinitialled, subinitialling.
uninitialed, adjective
uninitialled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To initially
World English Dictionary
initial (ɪˈnɪʃəl)
1.  of, at, or concerning the beginning
2.  the first letter of a word, esp a person's name
3.  printing a large sometimes highly decorated letter set at the beginning of a chapter or work
4.  botany a cell from which tissues and organs develop by division and differentiation; a meristematic cell
vb , -tials, -tialling, -tialled, -tials, -tialing, -tialed
5.  (tr) to sign with one's initials, esp to indicate approval; endorse
[C16: from Latin initiālis of the beginning, from initium beginning, literally: an entering upon, from inīre to go in, from in-² + īre to go]

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

1526, "of or pertaining to a beginning," from L. initialis "initial, incipient," from initium "a beginning, an entrance," from pp. stem of inire "to go into, enter upon, begin," from in- "into, in" + ire "to go" (see ion). Meaning "standing at the beginning of a word, sentence,
etc." (1622) led to noun sense of "initial letter of a name or surname" (1627). The verb meaning "to mark or sign with initials" is from 1864.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
And even less has come from those who believed in the revolution and initially
  stayed behind.
The new bachelor's degrees were initially focused on education, health care,
  and information technology.
Although well worth it in terms of your health, eating healthy and organic
  foods can initially be tricky and time-consuming.
Initially the new theater featured a mixed bill, alternating movies with live
  vaudeville acts.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature