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

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 Kavanaugh was not on Trump’s initial list of potential nominees for any vacant seat on the Supreme Court but was added later. Debbie Lord, ajc, "Who is Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court?," 9 July 2018 Once the initial shock has evaporated, loss becomes a way of life. Hilary Decent, Naperville Sun, "Decent: Tribute to fallen soldier keeps his memory alive," 6 July 2018 Included in the inaugural class of AACHAF awardees are 16 sites, selected from an initial list of 830 applicants. Essence.com, "16 Black Landmarks Will Be Given New Life With $1M In Funding From The National Trust For Historic Preservation," 6 July 2018 That initial list included four Michigan locations — all Sears stores. Marc Daalder, Detroit Free Press, "Sears to close store in Troy's Oakland Mall," 2 July 2018 The Trump presidential campaign of 2016 put together an initial list with input from conservative lawyers and activists steeped in the politics of judicial nominations. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick: Who, When, How," 29 June 2018 An initial list had included articles like televisions that were later removed, with semiconductors being added. Author: Michael Martina, Eric Beech, Anchorage Daily News, "China slams U.S. ‘blackmailing’ after Trump makes new tariff threat," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Now, a new filing has revealed details of the report and the initials of those opposing its release. Aubrey Nagle, Philly.com, "ICE protester sues Philly police, young Pa. farmers shake up industry | Morning Newsletter," 11 July 2018 Some of the models sported hand tattoos with the initials of their favorite designer: GBV. Samantha Tse, Allure, "The Giambattista Valli Couture Show Sent Models Down the Runway With Next-Level "Glass Skin"," 9 July 2018 Notably, Justice and the FBI have been redacting names or initials of employees involved in handling those cases. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The FBI’s Document Blackouts," 13 June 2018 Barr wrote Tuesday morning on Twitter, referring to the initials of Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. Jessica Estepa, USA TODAY, "OnPolitics Today: Resignations, rallies and Roseanne," 29 May 2018 Blackstone acquired and integrated GSO -- which refers to the last name initials of Bennett Goodman, Smith and Doug Ostrover -- in 2008. Sridhar Natarajan, Bloomberg.com, "Tripp Smith, Co-Founder of Blackstone's GSO, to Leave Firm," 22 Mar. 2018 Records obtained by Mansion Global show that the house sold to R2 Real Estate, a limited liability company whose name, the publication speculates, likely refers to the first initial of Tillerson and his wife's first names. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "Rex Tillerson Bought a $5.6 Million House in Washington D.C.," 21 Apr. 2017 One claim was made on the behalf of a deceased priest, initials L.O., who was characterized in the report as an abuser, an allegation that the challengers said was unproven. Nathaniel Lash, Philly.com, "Filings disclose new details on grand jury clergy abuse probe," 10 July 2018 The DJT Restaurant, the upscale eatery that bears President Donald John Trump's initials, was shut down for several hours following a November 2012 inspection at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas. Zlati Meyer, USA TODAY, "Trump vs. Red Hen restaurant: Eateries in Trump properties also dinged for violations," 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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Phrases Related to initial

initial public offering

Statistics for initial

Last Updated

12 Sep 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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