adjective ini·tial \i-ˈni-shəl\

: occurring at the beginning of something

Full Definition of INITIAL

:  of or relating to the beginning :  incipient <his initial reaction>
:  placed at the beginning :  first <the initial word of the verse>
ini·tial·ly \i-ˈni-sh(ə-)lē\ adverb
ini·tial·ness \i-ˈni-shəl-nəs\ noun

Examples of INITIAL

  1. <you've resolved my initial complaint, but now I have a new question>

Origin of INITIAL

Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French iniciel, from Latin initialis, from initium beginning, from inire to go into, from in- + ire to go — more at issue
First Known Use: 1526



: a first letter of a name

initials : the first letters of each of a person's names

Full Definition of INITIAL

a :  the first letter of a name
b plural :  the first letter of each word in a full name <found that their initials were identical>
:  a large letter beginning a text or a division or paragraph
:  anlage, precursor; specifically :  a meristematic cell

Examples of INITIAL

  1. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's middle initial stood for Delano.
  2. She put her initials on each page of the contract.
  3. The initials F.D.R. stood for Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

First Known Use of INITIAL


Rhymes with INITIAL



: to mark (something) with your initials

ini·tialed or ini·tialledini·tial·ing or ini·tial·ling \i-ˈni-sh(ə-)liŋ\

Full Definition of INITIAL

transitive verb
:  to affix an initial to
:  to authenticate or give preliminary approval to by affixing the initials of an authorizing representative

Examples of INITIAL

  1. She initialed each page of the contract.

First Known Use of INITIAL

circa 1864


Next Word in the Dictionary: initial conditionPrevious Word in the Dictionary: inisleAll Words Near: initial
May 28, 2015
fictioneer Hear it
someone who writes fiction
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