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initial

[ih-nish-uh l]
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adjective
  1. of, relating to, or occurring at the beginning; first: the initial step in a process.
  2. Phonetics. occurring at the beginning of a word or syllable, as the (k) sound of kite, chasm, or quay.
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noun
  1. an initial letter, as of a word.
  2. the first letter of a proper name.
  3. 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.
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verb (used with object), in·i·tialed, in·i·tial·ing or (especially British) in·i·tialled, in·i·tial·ling.
  1. to mark or sign with an initial or the initials of one's name, especially as a token of preliminary or informal approval.
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Origin of initial

1520–30; < Latin initiālis, equivalent to initi(um) beginning (init-, noun derivative of inīre to enter, begin; in- in-2 + īre to go; cf. comes) + -ium -ium) + -alis -al1
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

originallyfirst

Examples from the Web for initially

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • They decided that, initially at least, sulfa-tetradine was a miraculous success.

    Mate in Two Moves

    Winston Marks

  • The life of reason is initially unconscious because it can learn only by living to seek a reason for life.

    Creative Intelligence

    John Dewey, Addison W. Moore, Harold Chapman Brown, George H. Mead, Boyd H. Bode, Henry Waldgrave, Stuart James, Hayden Tufts, Horace M. Kallen

  • It is, initially, a thing of the outward as type is a thing of the inward world.

    Heart of Man

    George Edward Woodberry

  • Initially, then, every judgment is a truth-claim, and this claim is merely formal.

    Pragmatism

    D.L. Murray

  • One of these assumptions is that the concrete is initially unstressed.


British Dictionary definitions for initially

initial

adjective
  1. of, at, or concerning the beginning
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noun
  1. the first letter of a word, esp a person's name
  2. printing a large sometimes highly decorated letter set at the beginning of a chapter or work
  3. botany a cell from which tissues and organs develop by division and differentiation; a meristematic cell
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verb -tials, -tialling or -tialled or US -tials, -tialing or -tialed
  1. (tr) to sign with one's initials, esp to indicate approval; endorse
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Derived Formsinitialer or initialler, nouninitially, adverb

Word Origin

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 Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for initially

initial

v.

"to mark or sign with initials," 1864, American English, from initial (n.). Related: Initialed; initialing.

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initial

n.

"initial letter of a name or surname," 1620s, from initial (adj.) in a specialized sense "standing at the beginning of a word, sentence, etc."

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initial

adj.

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper