Abbreviation vs. Initial

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Abbreviation and Initial is that the Abbreviation is a shortened form of a word or phrase and Initial is a letter at the beginning of a word, a chapter, or a paragraph that is larger than the rest of the text.

  • Abbreviation

    An abbreviation (from Latin brevis, meaning short ) is a shortened form of a word or phrase. It consists of a group of letters taken from the word or phrase. For example, the word abbreviation can itself be represented by the abbreviation abbr., abbrv., or abbrev.

    In strict analysis, abbreviations should not be confused with contractions, crasis, acronyms, or initialisms, with which they share some semantic and phonetic functions, though all four are connected by the term “abbreviation” in loose parlance.An abbreviation is a shortening by any method; a contraction is a reduction of size by the drawing together of the parts. A contraction of a word is made by omitting certain letters or syllables and bringing together the first and last letters or elements; an abbreviation may be made by omitting certain portions from the interior or by cutting off a part. A contraction is an abbreviation, but an abbreviation is not necessarily a contraction. Acronyms and initialisms are regarded as subsets of abbreviations (e.g. by the Council of Science Editors). They are abbreviations that consist of the initial letters or parts of words.

  • Initial

    In a written or published work, an initial or drop cap is a letter at the beginning of a word, a chapter, or a paragraph that is larger than the rest of the text. The word is derived from the Latin initialis, which means standing at the beginning. An initial is often several lines in height and in older books or manuscripts, sometimes ornately decorated.

    In illuminated manuscripts, initials with images inside them, such as those illustrated here, are known as historiated initials. They were an invention of the Insular art of the British Isles in the eighth century. Initials containing, typically, plant-form spirals with small figures of animals or humans that do not represent a specific person or scene are known as “inhabited” initials. Certain important initials, such as the Beatus initial or “B” of Beatus vir… at the opening of Psalm 1 at the start of a vulgate Latin psalter, could occupy a whole page of a manuscript.

    These specific initials, in an illuminated manuscript, also were called Initiums.

  • Abbreviation (noun)

    The result of shortening or reducing; abridgment. First attested around 1350 to

  • Abbreviation (noun)

    A shortened or contracted form of a word or phrase, used to represent the whole, utilizing omission of letters, and sometimes substitution of letters, or duplication of initial letters to signify plurality, including signs such as +, =, @. Late 16th century.

  • Abbreviation (noun)

    The process of abbreviating. Mid 16th century.

  • Abbreviation (noun)

    A notation used in music score to denote a direction, as pp or mf.

  • Abbreviation (noun)

    One or more dashes through the stem of a note, dividing it respectively into quavers, semiquavers, demisemiquavers, or hemidemisemiquavers.

  • Abbreviation (noun)

    Any convenient short form used as a substitution for an understood or inferred whole.

  • Abbreviation (noun)

    Loss during evolution of the final stages of the ancestral ontogenetic pattern.

  • Abbreviation (noun)

    Reduction to lower terms, as a fraction.

  • Initial (adjective)

    Chronologically first, early; of or pertaining to the beginning, cause or origin.

    “Our initial admiration for their efficiency gave way to disgust about their methods.”

    “The initial stages of a syndrome may differ vastly from the final symptoms.”

  • Initial (adjective)

    Spatially first, placed at the beginning, in the first position; especially said of the first letter of a word.

    “The initial letter of names is usually printed with a capital letter.”

  • Initial (noun)

    The first letter of a word or a name.

  • Initial (noun)

    In plural, the first letter of each word of a person’s full name considered as a unit.

    “You can get your initials printed at the top.”

  • Initial (noun)

    A distinguished initial letter of a chapter or section of a document.

  • Initial (noun)

    onset, part of a syllable that precedes the syllable nucleus in phonetics and phonology.

  • Initial (verb)

    To sign one’s initial(s), as an abbreviated signature.

    “Please initial each page and sign the contract in full at the bottom.”


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