initial

[ ih-nish-uh l ]
/ ɪˈnɪʃ əl /

adjective

of, relating to, or occurring at the beginning; first: the initial step in a process.
Phonetics. occurring at the beginning of a word or syllable, as the (k) sound of kite, chasm, or quay.

noun

an initial letter, as of a word.
the first letter of a proper name.
a letter of extra size or an ornamental character used at the beginning of a chapter or other division of a book, manuscript, or the like.

verb (used with object), in·i·tialed, in·i·tial·ing or (especially British) in·i·tialled, in·i·tial·ling.

to mark or sign with an initial or the initials of one's name, especially as a token of preliminary or informal approval.

Nearby words

  1. inion,
  2. iniquitous,
  3. iniquitously,
  4. iniquity,
  5. init.,
  6. initial code,
  7. initial rhyme,
  8. initial teaching alphabet,
  9. initialism,
  10. initialize

Origin of initial

1520–30; < Latin initiālis, equivalent to initi(um) beginning (init-, noun derivative of inīre to enter, begin; in- in-2 + īre to go; cf. comes) + -ium -ium) + -alis -al1

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for initial


British Dictionary definitions for initial

initial

/ (ɪˈnɪʃəl) /

adjective

of, at, or concerning the beginning

noun

the first letter of a word, esp a person's name
printing a large sometimes highly decorated letter set at the beginning of a chapter or work
botany a cell from which tissues and organs develop by division and differentiation; a meristematic cell

verb -tials, -tialling or -tialled or US -tials, -tialing or -tialed

(tr) to sign with one's initials, esp to indicate approval; endorse
Derived Formsinitialer or initialler, nouninitially, adverb

Word Origin for initial

C16: from Latin initiālis of the beginning, from initium beginning, literally: an entering upon, from inīre to go in, from in- ² + īre to go

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

Word Origin and History for initial
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper