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acronym

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The thing that counts most in the pursuit of happiness is choosing the right companion.
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English

Etymology

From acro- "sharp, high" + -onym "name", modelled after homonym and synonym. From Ancient Greek ἄκρος (akros) "extremity" and ὄνομα "name".

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
acronym

Plural
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acronym ({{{1}}})
  1. An abbreviation formed by (usually initial) letters taken from a word or series of words, and which is itself pronounced as a word, such as RAM, radar, or scuba; sometimes contrasted with initialism.
  2. A pronounceable word formed from the beginnings (letter or syllable) of other words and thus representing the phrase so formed, e.g. Benelux = the countries Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg considered as a political or economic whole.
  3. Any abbreviation so formed, regardless of pronunciation, such as TNT, IBM, or XML.

Usage notes

  1. The original definition[1] was "term for words made from the initial letters or syllables of other words", indicating that it should be pronounceable as a word, e.g. snafu, comsat.
  2. The third sense is often criticized by commentators who prefer the term initialism for abbreviations that are not pronounced like an ordinary word.
  3. Acronyms are generally written with all letters in upper case. Some acronyms are treated as words in their own right and are written in lower case (such as scuba or radar).
  4. Older usage required that each letter be followed by a full stop. Current usage tends to omit full stops.

References

  • Notes:
  1. ^ American Speech Vol. 18, No. 2. (Apr., 1943), page 142

Translations

See also

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