initialism

[ ih-nish-uh-liz-uh m ]
/ ɪˈnɪʃ əˌlɪz əm /

noun

a set of initials representing a name, organization, or the like, with each letter pronounced separately, as FBI for Federal Bureau of Investigation.
a name or term formed from the initial letters of a group of words and pronounced as a separate word, as NATO for North Atlantic Treaty Organization; an acronym.
the practice of using initials or forming words from initials.

Origin of initialism

First recorded in 1895–1900; initial + -ism

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH initialism

abbreviation acronym initialism

grammar notes for initialism

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