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.
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.
Origin of initial
1520–30;Related formsin·i·tial·er, nounin·i·tial·ly, adverbpre·in·i·tial, verb (used with object)sub·in·i·tial, verb (used with object), sub·in·i·tialed, sub·in·i·tial·ing or (especially British) sub·in·i·tialled, sub·in·i·tial·ling.un·in·i·tialed, adjectiveun·in·i·tialled, adjective
< Latin initiālis,
equivalent to initi(um
) beginning (init-,
noun derivative of inīre
to enter, begin; in- in-2
to go; cf. comes
) + -ium -ium
) + -alis -al1
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for initialinglettering
Examples from the Web for initialing
Historical Examples of initialing
British Dictionary definitions for initialing
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
verb -tials, -tialling or -tialled or US -tials, -tialing or -tialed
Derived Formsinitialer or initialler, nouninitially, adverb
(tr) to sign with one's initials, esp to indicate approval; endorse
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
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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).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper