abbreviation

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noun ab·bre·vi·a·tion \ə-ˌbrē-vē-ˈā-shən\

Definition of abbreviation

  1. 1 :  a shortened form of a written word or phrase used in place of the whole word or phrase <“Amt” is an abbreviation for “amount.”> <“USA” is an abbreviation of “United States of America.”>

  2. 2 :  the act or result of abbreviating something :  abridgment <I know you would not be satisfied with an abbreviation of its contents, and you shall have the whole, save, perhaps, a few passages here and there of merely temporary interest to the writer … — Anne Bront{eumlau}>

What's the difference between an abbreviation and an acronym?

Some people are unsure of whether to call ASAP or appt abbreviations or acronyms. Both abbreviation and acronym are used to refer to a shortened form, but an acronym is a shortened form of a phrase and is usually made up of the initial letters of that phrase. For example, NATO comes from “North Atlantic Treaty Organization,” and ASAP comes from “as soon as possible.” Abbreviations, on the other hand, can be shortened forms of words or phrases, and need not necessarily be made up of the initial letters of either. ASAP and appt (for appointment) are both considered abbreviations, but only ASAP is an acronym. Acronyms are a type of abbreviation.

Origin and Etymology of abbreviation

see abbreviate


First Known Use: 15th century


ABBREVIATION Defined for Kids

abbreviation

play
noun ab·bre·vi·a·tion \ə-ˌbrē-vē-ˈā-shən\

Definition of abbreviation for Students

  1. :  a shortened form of a word or phrase



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