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initial

[ih-nish-uh l] /ɪˈnɪʃ əl/
adjective
1.
of, pertaining to, or occurring at the beginning; first:
the initial step in a process.
2.
Phonetics. occurring at the beginning of a word or syllable, as the (k) sound of kite, chasm, or quay.
noun
3.
an initial letter, as of a word.
4.
the first letter of a proper name.
5.
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.
6.
to mark or sign with an initial or the initials of one's name, especially as a token of preliminary or informal approval.
Origin
1520-1530
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
Related forms
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for initials
  • Why dont you tell us what all the initials stand for.
  • The plaintiffs are identified in the suit only by initials.
  • Have students trade maps with a peer, after writing their initials on their own map.
  • And sometimes a knife-wielding vandal decides that a precious rock-art panel is incomplete because it doesn't bear his initials.
  • Everything from wash cloth to gloves and parasol must carry your initials.
  • They must contain the name and address of the writer, though if preferred by the inquirer, initials only will be printed.
  • We encourage readers to use their real name or initials.
  • The table below lists some of the bigger schemes, ranked by the length of their acronyms or initials.
  • He reinserted the swab into the tube, squeezed the stopper shut, and labeled it with his initials and the coroner's case number.
  • Criminal defense lawyers had used the lack of initials to argue that blood swatches were switched at the police crime lab.
British Dictionary definitions for initials

initial

/ɪˈnɪʃəl/
adjective
1.
of, at, or concerning the beginning
noun
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
verb -tials, -tialling, -tialled (US) -tials, -tialing, -tialed
5.
(transitive) to sign with one's initials, esp to indicate approval; endorse
Derived Forms
initialer, initialler, noun
initially, adverb
Word Origin
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for initials

initial

adj.

1520s, "of or pertaining to a beginning," from Middle French initial or directly from Latin initialis "initial, incipient," from initium "a beginning, an entrance," from past participle stem of inire "to go into, enter upon, begin," from in- "into, in" (see in- (2)) + ire "to go" (see ion).

v.

"to mark or sign with initials," 1864, American English, from initial (n.). Related: Initialed; initialing.

n.

"initial letter of a name or surname," 1620s, from initial (adj.) in a specialized sense "standing at the beginning of a word, sentence, etc."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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8
10
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