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

initially \ i-​ˈni-​sh(ə-​)lē How to pronounce initially (audio) \ adverb
initialness \ i-​ˈni-​shəl-​nəs How to pronounce initialness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for initial

Synonyms: Adjective

earliest, first, foremost, headmost, inaugural, leadoff, maiden, original, pioneer, premier, virgin

Antonyms: Adjective

final, last, latest, latter, terminal, terminating, ultimate

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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

Hard work and positive interactions can undo an initial negative impression, particularly one partially created through hearsay. Anchorage Daily News, "Be careful of hidden agendas when catty co-workers ‘befriend’ you," 18 June 2019 But texts outlive the people who write them, memory of their initial purpose fades, and words take on new meaning and power. Sara Lipton, The New York Review of Books, "A Terribly Durable Myth," 17 June 2019 Beyond had a wildly successful initial public offering last month. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, "Beyond Meat will start making 'ground beef'," 17 June 2019 Thanks to their initial work, a lot of things have been understood. Leila Mcneill, Smithsonian, "The Woman Who Revealed the Missing Link Between Viruses and Cancer," 17 June 2019 Edesur tweeted that power was being restored, starting with 34,000 initial customers and the process of normalization could take several hours Uruguay has a population of roughly 3.5 million, while Argentina has more than 44 million. Fox News, "Massive electrical failure cuts power to Argentina and Uruguay," 17 June 2019 The proposal will have its initial public review by the city Redevelopment Authority at its Thursday board meeting. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "City-owned house could be brought back to life through new partnership with MATC, private construction firm," 17 June 2019 When a patient comes to see me for an acute back issue, exercise may not be part of the initial plan of care. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Kelsey-Seybold Clinic physicians: Back pain affects 90% of those age 30 and older, cause of depression and anxiety for many," 17 June 2019 The summer overhaul in the transfer market at Old Trafford has already begun with the signing of Welsh winger Daniel James from Swansea for an initial £15 million ($19 million) fee this week. chicagotribune.com, "Pogba: 'It could be a good time to have a new challenge'," 16 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In a domed chamber — reached after a trek through a passageway that worms its way up the inside of the cliff face — A.B. inscribed initials and the date, as hundreds of others had in many scripts, then added a little heart. New York Times, "2 Giant Buddhas Survived 1,500 Years. Fragments, Graffiti and a Hologram Remain.," 18 June 2019 There’s a laughing Buddha statue with four Caruso children climbing on it, a wind vane with the kids’ initials, and a favorite quote from each child inlaid in brass on the stone veranda. Christina Binkley, latimes.com, "The Miramar Beach hotel in Montecito opens with a splash," 10 June 2019 Rings and pendants from Missoma allow for just about anything to be engraved on their face, from initials and symbols, all the way to a custom sketch. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "Make It Personal: 14 Custom Jewelry Gifts for Valentine’s Day," 1 Feb. 2019 Since his initial, and quick, cameo in the first film, fans have been left with plenty of questions regarding the character's future. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Social Media Thinks Cole Sprouse, KJ Apa, or Shawn Mendes Should Be Cast in “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”," 20 Dec. 2018 Less inherently valuable—but perhaps more intimate—was Marie Antoinette's diamond ring, adorned with her initials, and containing a lock of her hair. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Marie Antoinette's Pearl Pendant Sells for a Record-Breaking $36 Million at Auction," 15 Nov. 2018 In addition to being by Meghan's fave designer, the shoes' soles were also embroidered with Charlotte's initials and the wedding date. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "The Special Details You Probably Missed on Prince George and Princess Charlotte's Royal Wedding Outfits," 27 Oct. 2018 Her initials and the date of the wedding were inscribed in the soles of her Aquazzura Mary Janes. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Talk About the Hidden Details in Prince George and Princess Charlotte's Royal Wedding Looks," 26 Oct. 2018 This basically allows the spouses of female competitors to take some credit for their wives' athletic feats, as its their first initials and last names that are given on the leaderboard. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Wimbledon Defines Serena Williams—and All Female Competitors—By Their Marital Status," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Board of Elections and Voter Registration on Tuesday rejected five ballots that would have counted during the May primary because poll workers failed to initial the filings. Craig Lyons, Post-Tribune, "Training aims to stop poll workers' errors from disqualifying votes," 19 June 2018 Fajman said ballots not being initialed when machines fail is always an issue. Craig Lyons, Post-Tribune, "Training aims to stop poll workers' errors from disqualifying votes," 19 June 2018 At East Carolina State, Williams-Sutton might have just been coming into his own on the diamond with a career-high .562 slugging percentage as a junior after initialing using baseball and soccer to stay in shape for basketball. Jeff Sanders, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres place premium on athleticism in Day 2 of draft," 5 June 2018 Shane Keyser The settlement agreement at the heart of the House report was negotiated, signed and initialed by Adams, Greitens’ campaign attorney at the time. Lindsay Wise, Jason Hancock And Steve Vockrodt, kansascity, "Greitens’ legal woes entangle political advisers with ties to Pence’s chief of staff | The Kansas City Star," 3 May 2018 Instead, the agreement was initialed and signed by Essential Consultants. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "The definitive guide to the Stormy Daniels scandal," 24 Mar. 2018 Bates' dated and initialed notes showing the bus’ mechanical deficiencies were fixed the same day as the Dec. 6 inspection was provided to Pottawattamie County Sheriff investigators within an hour of the bus fire, Hupp said. Jason Clayworth, USA TODAY, "Inspection records altered a week after Iowa school bus caught fire, killing 2," 8 Feb. 2018 The historical thread is made up of documents such as agent reports, handler reports, transcripts of conversations, personal letters and initialed minutes of emergency meetings, a device that works superbly. Henry Hemming, WSJ, "Rendezvous With le Carré," 1 Sep. 2017 Another thing Veliz has noticed is now many of tags are initialed. Mayra Cruz, Houston Chronicle, "Harris County inmates help remove graffiti through sheriff's office program," 7 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for initial

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for initial

The first known use of initial was in 1526

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More Definitions for initial

initial

adjective

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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