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.
- in·i·tial·er, noun
- in·i·tial·ly, adverb
- pre·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; (especially British) un·in·i·tialled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use initial in a sentence
The WHO suggests the initial tranche of doses, aiming to cover 3 percent, would likely go to health care workers.Who should get the Covid-19 vaccine first? Ethicists are fiercely debating how to vaccinate billions of people. | Sigal Samuel | November 20, 2020 | Vox
“Our initial numbers show that it would be cheaper than the current cost … of getting drinking water from the Colorado River,” Tetzlaff said.Two Companies See a Golden Opportunity in the Tijuana River’s Brown Waters | MacKenzie Elmer | November 20, 2020 | Voice of San Diego
These initial trials also only tested the experimental vaccine on mostly healthy people, and Moderna has yet to test the preventative treatment on older folks or young children.A second COVID-19 vaccine just reported excellent results. What now? | Claire Maldarelli | November 16, 2020 | Popular-Science
His initial pace was 10 minutes per mile, meaning he was running 6 miles per hour.
All counts must match the initial number of reported envelopes when a precinct box is processed, and requires the individuals recording the numbers to leave their signature or initials.A Pennsylvania poll worker explains the painstaking process of counting votes | Kyle Brashear | November 12, 2020 | Vox
If we are here then, and our foreign office passport has been properly initialled, then we shall have won the challenge.The Great Airship. | F. S. Brereton
It was to be observed that the most ardent mots were merely initialled.Poppy | Cynthia Stockley
His hand took his hat from the peg over his initialled heavy overcoat and his lost property office secondhand waterproof.Ulysses | James Joyce
There such bills would be sent to the drawer to be initialled, and the forgery would have been at once detected.The Chronicles of Newgate, v. 2/2 | Arthur Griffiths
All an inextricable welter of calm errors, neatly initialled by unknown fools.The Sea and the Jungle | H. M. Tomlinson
British Dictionary definitions for initial
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
- initialer or initialler, noun
- initially, adverb
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