Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of, relating to, or occurring at the beginning; first.
  • adjective Designating the first letter or letters of a word.
  • noun The first letter of a proper name.
  • noun The first letter of each word of a person's full name considered as a unit.
  • noun The first letter of a word.
  • noun A large, often highly decorated letter set at the beginning of a chapter, verse, or paragraph.
  • transitive verb To mark or sign with initials, especially for purposes of authorization or approval.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of or pertaining to the beginning; incipient: as, the initial step in a proceeding.
  • Placed at the beginning; standing at the head: as, the initial letter of a word, or of a chapter in a book.
  • noun The initial or first letter of a word; an initial letter.
  • noun The first letter of a book or writing, or of any division of it, distinguished from the body of the text by larger size or more ornamental character, or both.
  • noun In plain-song, a tone with which a melody may begin. In strict usage the initials for each mode are prescribed, and called absolute initials.
  • noun In steam-engines, an abbreviation of initial pressure (which see).
  • To put one's initial or initials to or on; sign or mark with initials: as, an initialed handkerchief; initialed paper.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The first letter of a word or a name.
  • transitive verb rare To put an initial to; to mark with an initial of initials.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to the beginning; marking the commencement; incipient; commencing.
  • adjective Placed at the beginning; standing at the head, as of a list or series.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Chronologically first, early; of or pertaining to the beginning, cause or origin
  • adjective Spatially first, placed at the beginning, in the first position; especially said of the first letter of a word
  • noun The first letter of a word or a name.
  • noun In plural, the first letter of each word of a person's full name considered as a unit
  • noun typography, calligraphy A distinguished initial letter of a chapter or section of a document.
  • noun phonology onset, part of a syllable that precedes the syllable nucleus in phonetics and phonology.
  • verb transitive To sign one's initial(s), as an abbreviated signature.

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

  • adjective occurring at the beginning
  • verb mark with one's initials
  • noun the first letter of a word (especially a person's name)

Etymologies

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

[Latin initiālis, from initium, beginning; see ei- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French, from Latin initialis ("of the beginning, incipient, initial"), from initium ("a going in, entrance, beginning"), from inire ("to go in, enter upon, begin"), from in ("in") + ire ("to go").

Examples

  • Investigators say they met with Shawn over the weekend in what they term initial talks, adding, the tough questions and complete debrief are still down the road.

    CNN Transcript Jan 15, 2007

  • Investigator say, they met with Shawn over the weekend in what they termed initial talks, adding, the tough questions and complete debrief are still down the road.

    CNN Transcript Jan 15, 2007

  • In addition, FEMA is sending what it calls initial response kits.

    CNN Transcript Aug 15, 2004

  • In addition, FEMA is sending what it calls initial response kits.

    CNN Transcript Aug 14, 2004

  • We may add that some have claimed to find the cross on Grecian monuments in the letter (chi), which, sometimes in conjunction with (rho), represented on coins the initial letters of the Greek word chrysoun, "gold", or other words indicative of the value of the coin, or the name of the coiner

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 4: Clandestinity-Diocesan Chancery

  • The FDA's alert is what they call their initial communication.

    ABC 4: Top Stories

  • The FDA's alert is what they call their initial communication.

    ABC 4: Top Stories

  • GHL ACQUISITION CORP. is a newly formed blank check company organized for the purpose of effecting a merger capital stock exchange asset acquisition stock purchase reorganization or other similar business combination with one or more businesses or assets which they refer to as their initial business combination.

    GuruFocus Updates -

  • GHL ACQUISITION CORP. is a newly formed blank check company organized for the purpose of effecting a merger capital stock exchange asset acquisition stock purchase reorganization or other similar business combination with one or more businesses or assets which they refer to as their initial business combination.

    GuruFocus Updates -

  • Johnny Ive may have had a part in initial conception or throwing out ideas, but I'm certain he didn't do the actual designing. dcfemella

    Toy Story 3 Trailer Easter Eggs Revealed | /Film

Comments

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  • Initially, I prefer.

    October 23, 2008