- 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.
Origin of initial
Examples from the Web for initials
I finish a decent game, type my initials, and decide to call it quits.
Another time he altered the program so that the high score table would refuse to display the initials of one of his colleagues.
The woman is identified only by the initials J.W. in court papers from a subsequent federal civil-rights lawsuit.Rape, Lies & Videotape in Ferguson
November 18, 2014
On the Pont des Arts we buy a padlock engraved with our initials, T and E.Discovering The Charms Of La France Profonde
June 9, 2014
The other man who filed a suit on Nov. 27 has chosen to remain unidentified and filed his claim using only his initials.Fourth Accuser Emerges in Elmo Sex Scandal
Maria Elena Fernandez
December 10, 2012
The initials of those words are within here now, and were within here then.Little Dorrit
At length, it was suggested that the letters were not initials, but the complete word, DIG.A Tale of Two Cities
The initials to that letter are yours, and all the men I meet tell me that you have written it.The Christian
On the end of the suitcase are the initials ‘C. M.’ and ‘Chicago.’Philo Gubb Correspondence-School Detective
Ellis Parker Butler
Two of these are signed with his initials, but the one here given has no signature.Whittier-land
Samuel T. Pickard
- 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
Word Origin and History for initials
"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).