VIDEO FOR ACRONYM
What Is The Difference Between Abbreviations And Acronyms?
There really could be a whole separate dictionary for the abundance of acronyms and abbreviations people use today. But what is the actual difference between abbreviations and acronyms?
grammar notes for acronym
OTHER WORDS FROM acronymac·ro·nym·ic, a·cron·y·mous [uh-kron-uh-muhs], /əˈkrɒn ə məs/, adjectiveac·ro·nym·i·cal·ly, adverb
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH acronymabbreviation, acronym , initialism
Words nearby acronym
MORE ABOUT ACRONYM
What does acronym mean?
An acronym is a word formed by abbreviating a phrase by combining certain letters of words in the phrase (often the first initial of each) into a single term.
Common examples of acronyms include NASA (an acronym for National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and FOMO (a slang acronym for fear of missing out). The word scuba comes from an acronym for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.
Although acronym is sometimes used generally to refer to any term formed from this kind of abbreviation, it typically refers to ones that can be pronounced as a word. This is sometimes contrasted with an initialism.
What’s the difference between an acronym and an initialism?
Initialism is sometimes used as a synonym for acronym, but most technically it refers to an abbreviation in which each initial is pronounced separately (instead of pronouncing them together as a single word, as in scuba or NASA). For example, FBI is an initialism of Federal Bureau of Investigation; TMI is an initialism of too much information.
Acronyms are often associated with their use in certain fields that use a lot of technical terms, like science, tech, and the military. But they’re popular in all kinds of contexts since they’re an easy way to make long phrases much shorter.
Example: STEM is an acronym that stands for “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.”
Where does acronym come from?
The first records of the word acronym come from the 1940s. It comes from a combination of acr- (a variant of acro–, meaning “tip end” and referring to using the first letters of each word in a phrase) and –onym, meaning “name” (as seen in words like synonym, antonym, and pseudonym).
Some common words started as acronyms: radar comes from an acronym for radio detection and ranging; laser comes from an acronym for lightwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. As you can see in these two terms, acronyms are not always formed from just the first initial of each word, and not every word in the phrase always contributes a letter. There aren’t any strict rules—acronyms are typically formed in whatever way results in a word that’s easy to say.
This is the most technical sense of acronym—an abbreviation pronounced as a word. But it’s often used in a more general way to refer to any abbreviation, such as common text and chat abbreviations like brb and ttyl. These are more technically called initialisms.
Some abbreviations can be pronounced both as single words and letter-by-letter. For example, ASAP (for as soon as possible) is commonly pronounced A-S-A-P, but it can also be pronounced AY-sap. Still, terms like brb, ttyl, and ASAP are commonly thought of as acronyms.
Acronyms are commonly used to abbreviate organization names, but they’re used in all different contexts, including science, the military, government, slang, and pop culture.
Sometimes, people try to claim that a word actually came from an acronym when it really didn’t. This is called a backronym. Popular examples include the word posh, which is said to come from the phrase port out, starboard home, and tag, which is said to be an acronym for touch and go. Neither of these are true.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to acronym?
- acronymic (adjective)
- acronymous (adjective)
- acronymically (adverb)
What are some synonyms for acronym?
What are some words that share a root or word element with acronym?
What are some words that often get used in discussing acronym?
What are some words acronym may be commonly confused with?
How is acronym used in real life?
Acronyms are used in all kinds of contexts. People sometimes criticize government agencies and other organizations for using too many acronyms, since it can be hard to know what they all mean.
You've heard of STEM?
Well, I propose we now work for the inclusion of LEAF.
Literature, Economics, Anthropology, and Futures.
Hey, we're all part of the same plant, right?
What's your disciplinary acronym?
— Left Field Notes (@Manigarm) December 29, 2019
Tweet us an alphabet soup sentence loaded with acronyms and abbreviations. We'll award the best (or worst?) a Stylebook Online subscription.
— APStylebook (@APStylebook) December 20, 2016
I’m queen of shortening words. I’ve done it as far back as I can remember & shorten things that don’t even need to be shortened. BUT these youngsters got me all hung up trying to figure out the acronyms these days. Ex: It took me til 9pm on Mon of MDW to figure out what MDW meant
— Tiera Joy ✨ (@TieraBolt) May 26, 2020
Try using acronym!
True or False?
Acronym and initialism always mean the same exact thing.
How to use acronym in a sentence
Savvy shoppers love the acronym BOGO, because it means “buy one, get one” free.Gifts that keep on giving: These retailers offer one-for-one deals or make financial donations|Laura Daily|November 30, 2020|Washington Post
Even the brand’s nam Avre—an acronym for “authentic, versatile, responsible, empowered”—embodies the brand’s platforms.Meet the sisters self-funding a sustainable footwear brand, creating shoes that ‘celebrate every woman’s step’|Rachel King|November 22, 2020|Fortune
Eliminating unnecessary acronyms could increase science accessibility and get people more interested in technical subjects.Why scientific papers are growing increasingly inscrutable|Hannah Seo|August 25, 2020|Popular-Science
It really shows how specific and isolating all these acronyms can be.Why scientific papers are growing increasingly inscrutable|Hannah Seo|August 25, 2020|Popular-Science
A group of researchers in Australia, including a marine ecologist and a statistician, looked at almost 25 million scientific articles between 1950 and 2019, searching for trends in acronym use.Why scientific papers are growing increasingly inscrutable|Hannah Seo|August 25, 2020|Popular-Science
Bae,” for example, is a term of endearment that is either short for “baby” or an acronym for “before anyone else.Feminist, Bae, Turnt: Time’s ‘Worst Words’ List Is Sexist and Racist|Samantha Allen|November 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He used the Arab acronym for ISIS or ISIL, as the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” commonly is known.Arab Kings vs. ISIS Barbarians|Christopher Dickey|September 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Try not to laugh when you notice what the acronym for said foundation is.It’s Official: ‘Redskins’ Is Racist, but Will the Team or NFL Listen?|Robert Silverman|June 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
RICO is the acronym for the Racketeer-influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.The FBI Declares War on L.A.’s Crips|Andrew Romano|June 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The acronym of the embodying League of the Common Fate is SOS.This 1979 Novel Predicted Putin’s Invasion Of Crimea|Michael Weiss|May 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
British Dictionary definitions for acronym
Derived forms of acronymacronymic or acronymous (əˈkrɒnɪməs), adjective
Word Origin for acronym
Cultural definitions for acronym
A word formed by combining the beginning letters of a name or phrase, as in WASP for white Anglo-Saxon Protestant, or by combining the initial syllables of a series of words, as in radar, which stands for radio detecting and ranging.