Word Traveler: Abbreviations in Dictionaries

This feature is for all word lovers as well as those studying for the SAT and seeking to learn new vocabulary.

In order for print dictionaries to include as much information as possible, certain elements must be abbreviated. These elements include parts of speech (adjective, adverb, noun, verb, etc.) and labels (for languages like French, for geography like Britain, for subject like medical, for register or style like colloquial, trademark). Learners' dictionaries can include many grammatical notations not found in other dictionaries. Some dictionaries also use symbols like the arrow, open box, equals sign, tilde, slash or solidus, and parentheses to indicate things in a briefer way.

Some common dictionary abbreviations include:

A & MAgricultural and Mechanical
A.D.anno Domini
ababout
abbrabbreviation
ablablative
absolabsolute, absolutely
accaccusative
actactive
adjadjective
advadverb
AFAnglo-French
AFBAir Force Base
AfrAfrica
AfrikAfrikaans
AgricAgriculture
AlbAlbanian, Albania
altaltitude
alteralteration
Am, AmerAmerica, American
AmerFAmerican French
AmerIndAmerican Indian
AmerSpAmerican Spanish
AN Anglo-Norman
anatanatomy
ancancient, anciently
anglanglicized
antantonym
anthropanthropology
aposapostrophe
approxapproximate, approximately
ArArabic
ArabArabian, Arabic
AramAramaic
archarchaic
archaeolarchaeology
architarchitecture
ArgenArgentine
ArmArmenian
artarticle
ASAnglo-Saxon
assocassociation
AssyrAssyrian
astron, astrastronomy
attribattributive, attributively
attyattorney
augaugmentative
AustralAustralian
avaverage
AVAuthorized Version
AvAvestan
bborn
B.C.before Christ; British Columbia
BabBabylonian
bacteriolbacteriology
befbefore
BelgBelgian, Belgium
BengBengali
betbetween
bibbiblical
bibliogbibliography
biochembiochemistry
biolbiology
botbotany
BrazBrazilian
BretBreton
BritBritain, British
BulgBulgarian, Bulgaria
Ccentigrade; College
ccentury
ca, ccirca
Canad, CanCanadian, Canada
CanFCanadian French
CantCantonese
capcapital, capitalized
CatalCatalan
causcausative
CeltCeltic
cencenter, central
centcentury
ChChurch
chemchemistry, chemical
ChinChinese
classclassical
co(s)county (counties)
ColColumbia, Colossians
collcollege
collectcollective, collectively
colloqcolloquial, colloquially
combcombining, combination
comparcomparative
conjconjugation; conjunction
constrconstruction
contrcontraction
cookcookery
CoptCoptic
CorCorinthians
CornCornish
criminolcriminology
CroatCroatian
cucubic
ddied
D, DuDutch
DanDanish; Daniel
datdative
defdefinite
DenDenmark
deptdepartment
derivderivative
derogderogatory
DeutDeuteronomy
dialdialect
dimdiminutive
discdiscovered
distdistrict
divdivision
Dom RepDominican Republic
DorDoric
dramdrama
dyndynamics
eeastern
eestimate
Eeast, eastern; English
e.g.exempli gratia (for example)
ecclecclesiastical
econeconomics
EdEducation
EEEarly English
EGmcEast Germanic
EgyptEgyptian
elecelectrical
empemperor
EngEngland, English
equivequivalent
EskEskimo
espespecially
estestimated, estimate
estabestablished
et al.et alii (and others)
etcet cetera (and so forth)
EthEthiopic
ethnolethnology
excexcept
exclexcludes, excluding, exclusive
exclamexclamation
ffounded
FFrench; Fahrenheit
FahrFahrenheit
famfamily
fedfederation
fem, ffeminine
fffollowing
figfigurative, figuratively
FinFinland
FinnFinnish
flflourished
Flem, FlFlemish
formformer, formerly
frfrom
FrFrance, French
frfrom
freqfrequentative
FrisFrisian
ftfeet, foot
futfuture
G German
GaelGaelic
gengeneral; genitive
geoggeography
geolgeology
geomgeometry
GerGerman, Germany
Gk, GrGreek
GmcGermanic
GothGothic
govgovernor
govtgovernment
Gr BritGreat Britain
gramgrammar
HebHebrew
herheraldry
HindHindustani
histhistory
HittHittie
HonHonduras
horthorticulture
HungHungarian, Hungary
I Indian
Iisland
i.e.id est (that is)
IcelIcelandic
IE Indo-European
imitimitative
imperimperative
ininch
inchoinchoative
inclincluded, includes, including
incorpincorporated
IndIndia, Indian
indefindefinite
indepindependent
indicindicative
infininfinitive
instinstitute, institution
instrinstrumental
intensintensive
interjinterjection
interroginterrogative
IonIonic
Ir Irish
Ire Ireland
IrGaelIrish Gaelic
irregirregular
ISVInternational Scientific Vocabulary
It, ItalItalian, Italy
italitalic
JavJavanese
jocjocular, jocularly
Jp Japanese, Japan
L Latin
LaFLouisiana French
latlatitude
LatLatin
LGLow German
LGkLate Greek
LHebLate Hebrew
litliterally; literary
LithLithuanian, Lithuania
liturgliturgical, liturgy
LL Late Latin
longlongitude
mmeters; mile; masculine
manufmanufacturer
mascmasculine
mathmathematician
maxmaximum
MBretMiddle Breton
MDMiddle Dutch
MEMiddle English
MechMechanical
mechmechanics
MedMedical
medmedicine
MeditMediterranean
metmetropolitan
meteormeteorology
MexMexican; Mexico
MexSpMexican Spanish
MFMiddle French
MFlemMiddle Flemish
mfrmanufacture
MGkMiddle Greek
MHGMiddle High German
mimiles
milmilitary
MIrMiddle Irish
MLMedieval Latin
MLGMiddle Low German
modmodern
ModE Modern English
modifmodification
MongolMongolian
MPerMiddle Persian
MSmanuscript(s)
mtmount, mountain
municmunicipal
musmusic
MWMiddle Welsh
mythmythology
Nnorth, northern
nnorthern; noun
n plnoun plural
nautnautical
NENew England
NethNetherlands
neut, nneuter
NewEngNew England
NewZealNew Zealand
NGkNew Greek
NGmcNorth Germanic
NHebNew Hebrew
NLNew Latin
nomnominative
nonstandnonstandard
NorwNorwegian, Norway
nrnear
NTNew Testament
NZNew Zealand
obsobsolete
OCatalOld Catalan
occasoccasionally, occasional
OEOld English
OFOld French
offofficial
OFrisOld Frisian
OGaelOld Gaelic
OHGOld High German
OIrOld Irish
OItOld Italian
OLOld Latin
ONOld Norse
ONFOld North French
OntOntario
OPerOld Persian
OPgOld Portuguese
oppopposite
OProvOld Provençal
OPrussOld Prussian
orgorganized
origoriginal, originally
ornithornithology
ORussOld Russian
OSOld Saxon
OSlavOld Slavic
OSpOld Spanish
OTOld Testament
OWOld Welsh
ppage
PaGPennsylvania German
part, particparticiple
passpassive
pathpathology
PekPekingese
Per, PersPersian
perfperfect
perhperhaps
persperson
PgPortuguese
PhilPhilippines
philosphilosophy
PhilSpPhilippine Spanish
photogphotography
physphysics, physical
physiolphysiology
plplural
poetpoetical
PolPolish, Poland
politpolitical, politician
poppopulation
PortPortuguese, Portugal
pppast participle; pages
PRPuerto Rico
precpreceding
predicpredictive, predicatively
preppreposition
prespresent; president
probprobably
pronpronoun; pronunciation, pronounced
pronuncpronunciation
proprproprietary
ProvProvençal
prppresent participle
PrussPrussian
pseudpseudonym
psycholpsychology
ptpast tense
pubpublished
qqv, qvquod vide (which see)
R.C. or RCRoman Catholic
reduplreduplication
reflreflexive
relrelative
religreligion
resprespectively
revrevolution
rhetrhetoric, rhetorical
rivriver
RomRoman; Romanian, Romania
RSVRevised Standard Version
RumRumanian
RussRussian
Ssouth, southern
S AfrSouth Africa, South African
S AmerSouth America, South American
Sc Scotch, Scots
Scand, Scan    Scandinavian
ScGaelScottish Gaelic
SchSchool
sciscience
Scot, ScScotland, Scottish
ScripScripture
secysecretary
SemSeminary, Semitic
SerbSerbian
ShakShakespeare
sigsignature
singsingular
SktSanskrit
SlavSlavic
So AfrSouth Africa, South African
sociolsociology
Sp, SpanSpanish
specif, specspecifically
sppspecies
StSaint
SteSainte
subjsubjunctive
substandsubstandard
superlsuperlative
Sw, SwedSwedish
SwitzSwitzerland
synsynonym, synonymy
SyrSyriac
TagTagalog
TasmTasmania
TechTechnology
techntechnical
theattheatre/theater
theoltheology
TheolTheological
TochTocharian
transtranslation
treastreasury
TurkTurkish
UUniversity
UKUnited Kingdom
UkrainUkrainian
univuniversity
USUnited States, America, American
USAUnited States of America
USSRUnion of Soviet Socialist Republic
usuusually, usual
v, vbverb
varvariant
VenVenezuela
viverb intransitive
VLVulgar Latin
vocvocative
vtverb transitive
W Welsh; west, western
WGmcWest Germanic
zoolzoology






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