noun ac·ro·nym \ˈa-krə-ˌnim\

: a word formed from the first letters of each one of the words in a phrase

Full Definition of ACRONYM

:  a word (as NATO, radar, or laser) formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound term; also :  an abbreviation (as FBI) formed from initial letters :  initialism
ac·ro·nym·ic \ˌa-krə-ˈni-mik\ adjective
ac·ro·nym·i·cal·ly \-mi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of ACRONYM

  1. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is known by the acronym NATO.

Origin of ACRONYM

acr- + -onym
First Known Use: 1943

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

ablaut, allusion, anacoluthon, diacritic, gerund, idiom, infinitive, metaphor, semiotics, simile
ACRONYM Defined for Kids


noun ac·ro·nym \ˈa-krə-ˌnim\

Definition of ACRONYM for Kids

:  a word formed from the first letter or letters of the words of a compound term <The word “radar” is an acronym for “radio detecting and ranging.”>


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