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a word formed from the initial letters or groups of letters of words in a set phrase or series of words and pronounced as a separate word, as Wac from Women’s Army Corps, OPEC from Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or loran from long-range navigation.
a set of initials representing a name, organization, or the like, with each letter pronounced separately; an .
an .
to make an acronym of:
The committee’s name has been acronymed MIKE.
Contemporary Examples

Elections make sense; central-bank announcements replete with jargon, arcane policies, and acronyms do not stir souls.
Mario Draghi May Become the Man Who Saved Europe—and the World Zachary Karabell September 6, 2012

One of the acronyms spawned by the Internet is IANAL, which stands for “I am not a lawyer.”
Should Judges Rule on Gay Marriage? Paul Campos August 6, 2010

The men had all sorts of lingo and acronyms that they used to review the services of the women they procured erotic services from.
Professor Pimp? Jacob Bernstein June 23, 2011

The Liberian civil conflict was a bewildering alphabet soup of acronyms, each a rebel group led by a warlord.
Liberian Nostalgia for War Criminal Charles Taylor Finlay Young April 27, 2012

Historical Examples

Hidden behind a jungle of acronyms, an unprecedented system of international finance evolves relentlessly.
After the Rain Sam Vaknin

It is not easy to find a path in the jungle of acronyms, which sprouted in the wake of the formation of the IMF.
After the Rain Sam Vaknin

The use of abbreviations, acronyms, and foreign terms has been held to a minimum.
Area Handbook for Bulgaria Eugene K. Keefe, Violeta D. Baluyut, William Giloane, Anne K. Long, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole

a pronounceable name made up of a series of initial letters or parts of words; for example, UNESCO for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization

word formed from the first letters of a series of words, 1943, American English coinage from acro- + -onym “name” (abstracted from homonym; see name (n.)). But for cabalistic esoterica and acrostic poetry, the practice was practically non-existent before 20c.
acronym [(ak-ruh-nim)]

A word formed by combining the beginning letters of a name or phrase, as in WASP for white Anglo-Saxon Protestant, or by combining the initial syllables of a series of words, as in radar, which stands for radio detecting and ranging.

Note: Acronyms are often less clumsy than the complete expressions they represent and are easier to write and remember.


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  • Acropachyderma

    acropachyderma acropachyderma ac·ro·pach·y·der·ma (āk’rō-pāk’ĭ-dûr’mə) n. Thickening of the skin of the face, scalp, and extremities with clubbing of the fingers and deformities in the limb bones.

  • Acroparaesthesia

    noun (pathol) a persistent sensation of numbness and tingling in the hands and feet

  • Acroparesthesia

    acroparesthesia acroparesthesia ac·ro·par·es·the·sia (āk’rō-pār’ĭs-thē’zhə) n. Numbness, tingling, or other abnormal sensations in one or more of the extremities.

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