the first letter of a word (especially a person's name)
"he refused to put the initials FRS after his name"
occurring at the beginning
"took the initial step toward reconciliation"
mark with one's initials
The first letter of a word or a name.
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.
A distinguished initial letter of a chapter or section of a document.
onset, part of a syllable that precedes the syllable nucleus in phonetics and phonology.
To sign one's initial(s), as an abbreviated signature.
Please initial each page and sign the contract in full at the bottom.
Chronologically first, early; of or pertaining to the beginning, cause or origin
Spatially first, placed at the beginning, in the first position; especially said of the first letter of a word
of or pertaining to the beginning; marking the commencement; incipient; commencing; as, the initial symptoms of a disease
placed at the beginning; standing at the head, as of a list or series; as, the initial letters of a name
the first letter of a word or a name
to put an initial to; to mark with an initial of initials
Origin: [L. initialis, from initium a going in, entrance, beginning, fr. inire to go into, to enter, begin; pref. in- in + ire to go: cf. F. initial. See Issue, and cf. Commence.]
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.
Chambers 20th Century Dictionary
in-ish′al, adj. commencing: placed at the beginning.—n. the letter beginning a word, esp. a name.—v.t. to put the initials of one's name to:—pr.p. init′ialing (-alling); pa.p. init′ialed (-alled).—v.t. Init′iāte, to make a beginning: to instruct in principles: to acquaint with: to introduce into a new state or society.—v.i. to perform the first act or rite.—n. one who is initiated.—adj. fresh: unpractised.—n. Initiā′tion, act or process of initiating: act of admitting to any society, by instructing in its rules and ceremonies.—adj. Init′iātive, serving to initiate: introductory.—n. an introductory step: the power or right of commencing.—adj. Init′iātory, tending to initiate: introductory.—n. introductory rite. [L. initialis—initium, a beginning, inīre, inītum—in, into, īre, ītum, to go.]
British National Corpus
Spoken Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'initial' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1626
Written Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'initial' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3390
Rank popularity for the word 'initial' in Adjectives Frequency: #207
The numerical value of initial in Chaldean Numerology is: 7
The numerical value of initial in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2
Images & Illustrations of initial
Translations for initial
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- إنسيال, أولArabic
- inicial, obertura, caplletra, inicialsCatalan, Valencian
- počáteční, výchozíCzech
- Initial, ursprünglich, Anfangsbuchstabe, anfänglich, Initiale, ersterGerman
- varhainen, alkuperäinen, alku-, ensimmäinen, nimikirjaimilla, nimikirjaimet, anfangi, alkukirjain, alustava, esi-Finnish
- initiale, lettrine, initial, première lettre, parapherFrench
- tùsailScottish Gaelic
- イニシャル, 最初, 始め, 声母, 初期Japanese
- 聲母, 성모Korean
- initiaal, paraferen, voorletter, beginletterDutch
- inicial, inicialmentePortuguese
- начальный, начальная буква, инициал, оригинальный, первичный, первоначальный, инициаль, исходный, буквица, первый, парафироватьRussian
- иницијал, inicijalSerbo-Croatian
- thanh mẫu, 聲母Vietnamese
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