initial

adjective
ini·​tial | \i-ˈni-shəl \

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 \

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 \ adverb
initialness \ i-​ˈni-​shəl-​nəs \ 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

July 13, 2018 The initial sanctions under the Obama administration also targeted a deputy commander of the G.R.U., Sergei A. Gizunov. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, "G.R.U., Russian Spy Agency Cited by Mueller, Casts a Long Shadow," 13 July 2018 Still, every year there are some curious choices, either by the fans, players or the commissioner’s office, that leave some deserving candidates off the Midsummer Classic’s initial rosters. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "MLB All-Star Game: Eight biggest roster snubs," 8 July 2018 Emmy surprises sometimes come when voters course-correct and recognize a series or actor after the initial first-season splash. Glenn Whipp, latimes.com, "Emmy snubs and surprises: New faces are in, old institutions are out and Sandra Oh makes history," 12 July 2018 Since the initial disclosure in January, researchers have discovered multiple other variants of Meltdown and Spectre that chipmakers have worked to patch. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "Senators Fear Meltdown and Spectre Disclosure Gave China an Edge," 11 July 2018 After making their initial entrance, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released hands to applaud a small group of performers. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Are Back to Holding Hands at Royal Events," 5 July 2018 Recruiting powerhouses like Duke and Kentucky weren't really on the radar, aside from some initial interactions in the earlier stages of Bassey's recruitment. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "Western Kentucky, Rick Stansbury invite skepticism with new hire," 5 July 2018 The Army previously eliminated Chicago, Dallas, Denver, San Francisco and other cities from an initial list of 15 possible locations. Joseph N. Distefano, Philly.com, "Will U.S. Army Futures Command HQ and its 500 jobs come to Philly? Decision is expected Friday," 12 July 2018 But the shares were under the name Wilbur L. Ross, whereas the others were listed without his middle initial, Ross said. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Stock market shrugs off Trump's trade war," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The filings also say that slaves in DOS were branded in the pelvic region with Raniere's initials. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "NXIVM: Judge denies bail for founder of alleged sex cult tied to Allison Mack," 12 June 2018 Some of the women were branded a symbol that prosecutors said contained Raniere's initials. Sasha Savitsky, Fox News, "Trial set for 'Smallville' actress Allison Mack, alleged sex cult leader Keith Raniere," 4 May 2018 Members of the group have identified Roberts as the physician who branded them in the pubic area with a cauterizing iron to form a scar spelling K-R-A-M — Raniere's and Mack's initials. Mary Spicuzza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Doctor accused of branding women in sex cult worked at Columbia St. Mary's Hospital," 30 Apr. 2018 The women, who were allegedly forced to give up collateral in the form of nude photographs and family secrets to join the group, were branded by a cauterizing pen with a logo containing Raniere's initials, according to prosecutors. Jon Campbell, USA TODAY, "Allison Mack of 'Smallville' gets $5M bail, home confinement in sex-cult case," 24 Apr. 2018 The brands are variations on Raniere's initials, KR. NBC News, "Female sex slaves were branded with group leader's initials, say feds," 26 Mar. 2018 The cars were brightly spray painted with numbers, initials or monster teeth. Mykal Mceldowney, Indianapolis Star, "'It's a big rush': The risks and rewards of demolition derby," 25 June 2018 Davidson also got two tattoos inspired by Grande, including a pair of bunny ears and her initials on his thumb. Vogue, "Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson Are Reportedly Engaged," 11 June 2018 Schrodt said some of his initial talks have included GCI, which could help EGF solve connectivity issues at rural schools. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "A state champion gamer? Over 2 dozen Alaska high schools will offer esports next fall," 17 May 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

7 Nov 2018

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

initials : 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 \

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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