- 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.
- 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.
- to mark or sign with an initial or the initials of one's name, especially as a token of preliminary or informal approval.
Origin of initial
Related Wordslettering, impress, seal, endorse, confirm, ink, subsidize, secure, finance, provide, bankroll, sponsor, approve, guarantee, buy, owe, negotiate, settle, undertake, agree
Examples from the Web for initialing
These latter, rashly or otherwise, had guaranteed its accuracy by initialing it.Observations of an Orderly
You are initialing now each page below by initial, and you are signing your name to the first page below my signature?Warren Commission (12 of 26): Hearings Vol. XII (of 15)
The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
- of, at, or concerning the beginning
- 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
- (tr) to sign with one's initials, esp to indicate approval; endorse
Word Origin and History for initialing
"to mark or sign with initials," 1864, American English, from initial (n.). Related: Initialed; initialing.
"initial letter of a name or surname," 1620s, from initial (adj.) in a specialized sense "standing at the beginning of a word, sentence, etc."
1520s, "of or pertaining to a beginning," from Middle French initial or directly from Latin initialis "initial, incipient," from initium "a beginning, an entrance," from past participle stem of inire "to go into, enter upon, begin," from in- "into, in" (see in- (2)) + ire "to go" (see ion).