initialize

[ih-nish-uh-lahyz]

verb (used with object), in·i·tial·ized, in·i·tial·iz·ing. Computers.

to set (variables, counters, switches, etc.) to their starting values at the beginning of a program or subprogram.
to clear (internal memory, a disk, etc.) of previous data in preparation for use.

Nearby words

  1. initial,
  2. initial code,
  3. initial rhyme,
  4. initial teaching alphabet,
  5. initialism,
  6. initially,
  7. initiate,
  8. initiating agent,
  9. initiation,
  10. initiation factor

Also especially British, in·i·tial·ise.

Origin of initialize

First recorded in 1955–60; initial + -ize

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


British Dictionary definitions for initialising

initialize

initialise

verb

(tr) to assign an initial value to (a variable or storage location) in a computer program
Derived Formsinitialization or initialisation, noun

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 initialising

initialize

v.

1833, "to designate by initials," from initial + -ize. Meaning "to make ready for operation" is from 1957. Related: Initialized; initializing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper