There are several kinds of abbreviations: shortenings, contractions, initialisms, and acronyms.
1. Shortenings of words, though formerly condemned by literary figures such as Addison and Pope (18c), are now a common convention, with varying degrees of formality (ad = advertisement, bike = bicycle, pub = public house, rhino = rhinoceros, telly = television). Some are the usual forms, with the original forms now regarded as formal or technical (bus = omnibus, fridge = refrigerator, gym = gymnasium, turps = turpentine, zoo = zoological garden).
2. Contractions are a type of shortening in which letters from the middle of the word are omitted (Dr = doctor, St = saint) and are sometimes marked as omitted by use of an apostrophe (can't = cannot, we've = we have).
3. Initialisms are abbreviations consisting of a sequence of the initial letters of words that are pronounced as separate letters: a.m., BBC, DfES [= Department for Education and Skills, in the UK], HIV, MP, UN. Practice varies as to including full points between the letters; the style recommended here is not to include them when all the initials are capitals and in some other cases. When the form has a plural, this is formed by adding an -s, now normally without an apostrophe (e.g. MPs rather than MP's). Possessives are formed in the usual way (e.g. MP's singular, MPs' plural).
4. Acronyms are initialisms that have gone one stage further and acquired the status of words, being pronounced and treated grammatically as such (Aids, laser, NATO, PIN [= personal identification number], radar). In some cases the original expansions have become irrelevant, as with laser and radar. (See more fully at acronym.)

Modern English usage. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ABBREVIATIONS — The abbreviation of words originated in antiquity, probably soon after the alphabet developed from ideographic pictures. While originally rare, their use increased with the general growth in the transmission of ideas by writing. They relieved the …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Abbreviations — An abbreviation is a shortened form of a word, compound, or phrase, made by leaving out some of the letters or by using only the first letter of each word. For example, g is an abbreviation for gram in an expression of weight such as 25g , and… …   Useful english dictionary

  • abbreviations — abbreviature ит. [аббрэвиату/рэ] abbreviations англ. [эбривиэ/йшнз] Abbreviaturen нем. [абрэвиату/рэн] знаки сокращ. нотн. письма; то же, что Abkürzungen …   Словарь иностранных музыкальных терминов

  • abbreviations — Shortened forms of words obtained by omitting one or more letters or syllables, or by using various signs, symbols, and characters. The abbreviations more commonly used in modern times consist of initial letters or syllables, the omissions of… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • Abbreviations —    aka = also known as    [B] = black and white reproduction    B&D = bondage and domination    BBW = big beautiful women [depictions of heavy female figures]    BDSM = bondage, domination, sadism, masochism; the most general term for the full… …   Dictionary of erotic artists: painters, sculptors, printmakers, graphic designers and illustrators

  • abbreviations — ab·bre·vi·a·tion || ə‚briːvɪ eɪʃn n. act of shortening by removing or omitting a part; shortened form of a word or words …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Abbreviations —   Are defined in this compendium for commonly used automation and banking terms as well as for international bodies. See also the individual abbreviation or acronym …   International financial encyclopaedia

  • Abbreviations —   c. Near to, with respect to dates   fl. L. floruit, (of a person) he or she flourished or lived at this period, that is, collecting or publishing at the date or dates indicated   Gk Greek   L. Latin   Year of birth or death not determined   c.e …   Etymological dictionary of grasses

  • Abbreviations — Af African Ar Arabic AS Anglo Saxon Br Brazilian Ch Chilean Dan Danish . English EI East Indian F French Far Faroese G Greek Ger German Go Gothlandic H Hindustani Hb Hebrew Ice Icelandic It Italian L Latin LL Low Latin; Late Latin Mai Malayan …   Dictionary of word roots and combining forms

  • Abbreviations —   Abbr. Abbreviation   adj, Adjective   adv. Adverb   App. Applied to   Derog. Derogatory   Dil. Dilution   Emph. Emphatic; emphasis   Esp. Especially   Ex. Originating in   Excl. Exclamation   Facet. Facetious   Gen. General; generally   Juv.… …   A concise dictionary of English slang

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.