Definitions for initialɪˈnɪʃ əl

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word initial

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

in•i•tialɪˈnɪʃ əl(adj.; n.; v.)-tialed, -tial•ing; -tialled, -tial•ling.

  1. (adj.)of, pertaining to, or occurring at the beginning; first:

    the initial step in a process.

  2. (n.)an initial letter, as of a word.

  3. the first letter of a proper name.

  4. a large, often ornamental letter used at the beginning of a chapter or other division of a book or manuscript.

    Category: Printing

  5. (v.t.)to mark or sign with an initial or the initials of one's name, esp. as a token of approval.

Origin of initial:

1520–30; < L initiālis, der. of initi(um) beginning, der. of inīre to enter, begin =in-in-2+īre to go


Princeton's WordNet

  1. initial(adj)

    the first letter of a word (especially a person's name)

    "he refused to put the initials FRS after his name"

  2. initial(verb)

    occurring at the beginning

    "took the initial step toward reconciliation"

  3. initial(verb)

    mark with one's initials

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. initial(adjective)ɪˈnɪʃ əl

    before all others; = first

    Her initial response was to say "yes."

  2. initial(noun)ɪˈnɪʃ əl

    the first letter of one of your names

    Put your initials here to show you've received it.

  3. initial(verb)ɪˈnɪʃ əl

    to write your initials on sth

    I read and initialed it.


  1. initial(Noun)

    The first letter of a word or a name.

  2. initial(Noun)

    In plural, the first letter of each word of a person's full name considered as a unit

    You can get your initials printed at the top.

  3. initial(Noun)

    A distinguished initial letter of a chapter or section of a document.

  4. initial(Noun)

    onset, part of a syllable that precedes the syllable nucleus in phonetics and phonology.

  5. initial(Verb)

    To sign one's initial(s), as an abbreviated signature.

    Please initial each page and sign the contract in full at the bottom.

  6. initial(Adjective)

    Chronologically first, early; of or pertaining to the beginning, cause or origin

  7. initial(Adjective)

    Spatially first, placed at the beginning, in the first position; especially said of the first letter of a word

Webster Dictionary

  1. Initial(adj)

    of or pertaining to the beginning; marking the commencement; incipient; commencing; as, the initial symptoms of a disease

  2. Initial(adj)

    placed at the beginning; standing at the head, as of a list or series; as, the initial letters of a name

  3. Initial(noun)

    the first letter of a word or a name

  4. Initial(verb)

    to put an initial to; to mark with an initial of initials


  1. Initial

    In a written or published work, an initial is a letter at the beginning of a word, a chapter, or a paragraph that is larger than the rest of the text. The word is derived from the Latin initialis, which means standing at the beginning. An initial often is several lines in height and in older books or manuscripts, sometimes ornately decorated. In illuminated manuscripts, initials with images inside them, such as those illustrated here, are known as historiated initials. They were an invention of the Insular art of the British Isles in the eighth century. Initials containing, typically, plant-form spirals with small figures of animals or humans that do not represent a specific person or scene are known as "inhabited" initials. Certain important initials, such as the B of Beatus vir ... at the opening of Psalm 1 at the start of a vulgate Latin psalter, could occupy a whole page of a manuscript. These specific initials, in an illuminated manuscript, also were called Initiums.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'initial' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1626

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'initial' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3390

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'initial' in Adjectives Frequency: #207

Translations for initial

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


of, or at, the beginning

There were difficulties during the initial stages of building the house.

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