Definition of initial noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɪˈnɪʃl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪˈnɪʃl//
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  1. 1  [countable] the first letter of a person’s first name ‘What initial is it, Mrs Owen?’ ‘It's J, J for Jane.’
  2. 2  initials [plural] the first letters of all of a person’s names John Fitzgerald Kennedy was often known by his initials JFK. Just write your initials.
  3. Word Originearly 16th cent.: from Latin initialis, from initium ‘beginning’, from inire ‘go in’, from in- ‘into’ + ire ‘go’.Extra examples A stone bears the initials ‘R.P.’, which stand for ‘Ralph Piggot’. A stone over the door bears the initials ‘R.P.’, which stand for ‘Ralph Piggot’. He carved his girlfriend’s initials in the rock. Now that she was chief executive officer, she could put the initials CEO after her name. SC are the initials for Santa Catarina. She’s always been known by her initials. The two authors have the same initials. When writing, if you use initials for a long name, make sure you spell out the name at least once.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: initial

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