from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. From the beginning.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. Calculated from first principles, i.e. from basic laws without any further additional assumptions.
  • adv. Taken with no prior qualifications.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. From the beginning.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. at the beginning


Latin ab initiō : ab, from + initiō, ablative of initium, beginning.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin ab ("from") + initiō, ablative singular of initium ("beginning"). (Wiktionary)


  • "Apostolicae sedi et antiquis ab initio nascentis ecclesiae et catholicis traditionibus tota mentis intentione, tota cordis alacritate, me conjungo.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 6: Fathers of the Church-Gregory XI

  • When she spoke of “adoptio” by God, or of “participatio dei,” for example, although a spiritual relationship continued to be understood, yet its basis and reality lay in a sacramental renewal of the physical nature: “Non ab initio dii facti sumus; sed primo quidem homines, tunc demum dii” (We were not made gods at first; at first we were men, thereafter we became gods at length).

    The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries

  • * [1112] Eâ gratiâ fit ab initio fidei suæ homo quicunque Christianus, quâ gratiâ homo ille ab initio factus est Christus



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  • JM notes there are some folk who look backwards ‘ab initio’

    August 9, 2009