initial

adjective
ini·​tial | \ i-ˈni-shəl How to pronounce initial (audio) \

Definition of initial

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : of or relating to the beginning : incipient his initial reaction
2 : placed at the beginning : first the initial word of the verse

initial

noun

Definition of initial (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : the first letter of a name
b initials plural : the first letter of each word in a full name found that their initials were identical
2 : a large letter beginning a text or a division or paragraph
3 : anlage, precursor specifically : a meristematic cell

initial

verb
initialed or initialled; initialing or initialling\ i-​ˈni-​sh(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce initialling (audio) \

Definition of initial (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

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

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Other Words from initial

Adjective

initialness \ i-​ˈni-​shəl-​nəs How to pronounce initialness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for initial

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of initial in a Sentence

Adjective you've resolved my initial complaint, but now I have a new question Noun President Franklin D. Roosevelt's middle initial stood for “Delano.” She put her initials on each page of the contract. The initials F.D.R. stood for “Franklin Delano Roosevelt.” Verb She initialed each page of the contract.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Our initial reporting revealed some startling actions by Bevin, such as a pardon for a man convicted of homicide and other crimes whose family hosted a 2018 political fundraiser for the governor. Richard A. Green, The Courier-Journal, "Courier Journal's Pulitzer-winning work wouldn't have happened without your subscription," 5 May 2020 Since the week ending March 14 through the week ending April 25, the state has processed more than 3.5 million initial unemployment claims and paid $4.5 billion in benefits as a result of the state’s shelter-in-place order. Bethany Blankley, Washington Examiner, "California to move into phase two of reopening Friday," 5 May 2020 While many of the initial grants address immediate needs of access to food, shelter, health care and response to job and income loss, several grants also support the educational and emotional needs of children and adults. Nataly Keomoungkhoun, Dallas News, "United Way receives $5 million gift to support community coronavirus needs," 4 May 2020 Smokers are almost certainly not protected from initial infection by SARS-CoV-2. The Economist, "Covid-19 Smokers seem less likely than non-smokers to fall ill with covid-19," 2 May 2020 Not part of the initial reopening plan: Restaurants. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Coronavirus timeline: April 25-May 1," 2 May 2020 Newman said giving was not the restaurant’s initial plan when restaurants were closed across the state in March. Leon Stafford, ajc, "Lovies BBQ fires up smokers to help customers support first responders," 1 May 2020 Change to initial plan creates sticker shock The Brewers needed luxury boxes, club seats, restaurants, shops and expanded parking. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "50 in 50: George Petak switches his vote to get Miller Park financed," 1 May 2020 Businesses such as beauty salons, barbershops and restaurants were not included in the initial reopening plan. Vandana Rambaran, Fox News, "Ohio Gov. DeWine announces first plans to restart economy during coronavirus outbreak," 28 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The sport, whose initials stand for Ultimate Fighting Championship, involves close contact by necessity, with punching, kicking and submission holds. Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg.com, "UFC Bans Fighters From Criticizing its Safety Protocols," 15 May 2020 Texas is another theme reflected in its jewelry, which includes charms and rings shaped like the state, Whataburger charms and key chains with state schools’ initials. Madison Iszler, ExpressNews.com, "James Avery Artisan Jewelry is closing its Fredericksburg workshop," 15 May 2020 The state's initial safer-at-home order, which closed all nonessential businesses and schools to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, went into effect March 25. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Menomonee Falls plans to take a 'slow and gradual approach' to reopen its businesses," 5 May 2020 The initials are likely denoting Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who is Jewish. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "'Icons of human hatred': Auschwitz Museum condemns Nazi slogan at anti-quarantine Illinois protest," 2 May 2020 Chamal is still an MP and Basil, though out of government, runs the family’s political party, the Sri Lanka People’s Front (known by its Sinhala initials SLPP). The Economist, "Brotherly shove Sri Lanka’s ruling party calls an election, hoping for a landslide," 5 Mar. 2020 Feel free to skip over the matching initials, ring-finger bands, or anything else that feels cliché. Samantha Sasso, refinery29.com, "26 Couple Tattoos You Won’t Hate — Even If You Break Up," 13 Feb. 2020 Historically, that places it at something of a disadvantage, one that might be somewhat mitigated by the barrage of press preceding its initial, limited December release. Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post, "Could ‘1917’ win the Oscar for best picture? The case for Sam Mendes’s WWI drama.," 5 Feb. 2020 The photograph shows the initials on a belt, either an HM or WH, depending on the angle. CBS News, "Police reveal new crime scene evidence in Long Island serial killer case," 16 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Value of those tools was initially set at around $500 total and police noted that they had been initialed by the owner. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Man questions whether ‘repo’ driver is out doing ‘essential business’: Orange Police Blotter," 15 Apr. 2020 The agreement was initialed and signed by Tully in March, but was not filed until April 7, according to online court records. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "Roncalli's Bob Tully agrees to pretrial diversion in battery case involving student," 17 Apr. 2020 Taylor was one of the first witnesses called Wednesday during the impeachment inquiry’s initial open hearing. USA TODAY, "Associated Press: 2nd US official heard President Trump call with Sondland about Ukraine," 15 Nov. 2019 About two weeks later, your boxes of ammo show up, each one initialed buy the loader who made them. Alex Robinson, Outdoor Life, "5 Top Custom Shotshells That Are Better Than Steel," 8 Jan. 2020 Rickmon Tuesday ruled that eight ballots were not properly initialed by election judges before giving them to voters. Alicia Fabbre, chicagotribune.com, "Judge discards 8 ballots cast in April in southwest suburban school board election. Woman who had been declared a winner is forced to step down.," 5 Nov. 2019 In 1995, Balkan leaders meeting in Dayton, Ohio, initialed a peace plan to end three and a-half years of ethnic fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina. BostonGlobe.com, "In 1920, the Irish Republican Army killed 12 British intelligence officers and two auxiliary policemen in the Dublin area; British forces responded by raiding a soccer match, killing 14 civilians.," 21 Nov. 2019 But the peace talks collapsed last month when Trump pulled the plug on the deal his diplomats had finalized and initialed after a year of negotiations. BostonGlobe.com, "In a news conference Monday, the top US commander in Afghanistan, General Austin S. Miller, confirmed that the size of the US force in the country had already quietly dropped by 2,000 over the last year, down to between roughly 12,000 and 13,000.," 22 Oct. 2019 But the negotiations collapsed in September when Mr. Trump pulled the plug on the deal his diplomats had finalized and initialed after a year of negotiations. New York Times, "U.S. Is Quietly Reducing Its Troop Force in Afghanistan," 21 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'initial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of initial

Adjective

1526, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1627, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

circa 1864, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for initial

Adjective

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 entry 1

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Time Traveler for initial

Time Traveler

The first known use of initial was in 1526

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Statistics for initial

Last Updated

8 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Initial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/initial. Accessed 26 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for initial

initial

adjective
How to pronounce initial (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of initial

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: occurring at the beginning of something

initial

noun

English Language Learners Definition of initial (Entry 2 of 3)

: a first letter of a name
: the first letters of each of a person's names

initial

verb

English Language Learners Definition of initial (Entry 3 of 3)

: to mark (something) with your initials

initial

noun
ini·​tial | \ i-ˈni-shəl How to pronounce initial (audio) \

Kids Definition of initial

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : the first letter of a name
2 : a large letter beginning a text or a paragraph

initial

adjective

Kids Definition of initial (Entry 2 of 3)

: occurring at or marking the beginning an initial effort the initial word

Other Words from initial

initially \ -​shə-​lē \ adverb

initial

verb
initialed or initialled; initialing or initialling

Kids Definition of initial (Entry 3 of 3)

: to mark with the first letter or letters of a name

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Comments on initial

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