[ ak-ruh-nim ]
See synonyms for acronym on
  1. a word formed from the initial letters or groups of letters of words in a set phrase or series of words and pronounced as a separate word, as Wac from Women's Army Corps,OPEC from Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or loran from long-range navigation.

verb (used with object)
  1. to make an acronym of: The committee's name has been acronymed MIKE.

Origin of acronym

First recorded in 1940–45; acr- + -onym

Grammar notes for acronym

Other words from acronym

  • ac·ro·nym·ic, a·cron·y·mous [uh-kron-uh-muhs], /əˈkrɒn ə məs/, adjective
  • ac·ro·nym·i·cal·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with acronym Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use acronym in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for acronym


/ (ˈækrənɪm) /

  1. a pronounceable name made up of a series of initial letters or parts of words; for example, UNESCO for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization

Origin of acronym

C20: from acro- + -onym

Derived forms of acronym

  • acronymic or acronymous (əˈkrɒnɪməs), adjective

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for acronym


[ (ak-ruh-nim) ]

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.

Notes for acronym

Acronyms are often less clumsy than the complete expressions they represent and are easier to write and remember.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.