What does abbreviation mean?

Definitions for abbreviation
əˌbri viˈeɪ ʃənab·bre·vi·a·tion

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word abbreviation.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. abbreviationnoun

    a shortened form of a word or phrase

  2. abbreviationnoun

    shortening something by omitting parts of it


  1. abbreviationnoun

    A shortened or contracted form of a word or phrase, used to represent the whole: Dr.

  2. abbreviationnoun

    The act or result of shortening or reducing.

  3. abbreviationnoun

    One or more dashes through the stem of a note, dividing it respectively into quavers, semiquavers, demisemiquavers, or hemidemisemiquavers.

  4. abbreviationnoun

    A notation used in music score to denote a direction, as pp or mf.

  5. abbreviationnoun

    Any convenient spoken or written short form for an understood or inferred whole.

  6. abbreviationnoun

    Reduction to lower terms, as a fraction.

  7. abbreviationnoun

    Loss during evolution of the final stages of the ancestral ontogenetic pattern.

  8. Etymology: * First attested 1400–50.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Abbreviationnoun

    Such is the propriety and energy of expression in them all, that they never can be changed, but to disadvantage, except in the circumstance of using abbreviations. Jonathan Swift, Introduction to genteel conversation.


  1. Abbreviation

    An abbreviation (from Latin brevis, meaning short ) is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters or words taken from the full version of the word or phrase, for example, the word abbreviation can itself be represented by the abbreviation abbr., abbrv., or abbrev.; nil by mouth is an abbreviated medical instruction. It may also consist of initials only, a mixture of initials and words, or words or letters representing words in another language (for example, e.g., i.e. or RSVP). Some types of abbreviations are acronyms (which are pronounceable), initialisms (using initials only), or grammatical contractions or crasis. An abbreviation is a shortening by any of these, or other, methods.


  1. abbreviation

    An abbreviation is a shortened or truncated form of a word or phrase. It is created by taking the initial letters or a few key letters of each word in the original term and combining them to form a new, abbreviated version. Abbreviations are commonly used in various fields, such as medicine, technology, government, and academia, to save space, time, and effort in written or spoken communication. They are often represented by one or more capital letters and are intended to simplify the usage and understanding of longer terms.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Abbreviationnoun

    the act of shortening, or reducing

  2. Abbreviationnoun

    the result of abbreviating; an abridgment

  3. Abbreviationnoun

    the form to which a word or phrase is reduced by contraction and omission; a letter or letters, standing for a word or phrase of which they are a part; as, Gen. for Genesis; U.S.A. for United States of America

  4. Abbreviationnoun

    one dash, or more, through the stem of a note, dividing it respectively into quavers, semiquavers, or demi-semiquavers

  5. Etymology: [LL. abbreviatio: cf. F. abbrviation.]


  1. Abbreviation

    An abbreviation is a shortened form of a word or phrase. Usually, but not always, it consists of a letter or group of letters taken from the word or phrase. For example, the word abbreviation can itself be represented by the abbreviation abbr., abbrv. or abbrev. In strict analysis, abbreviations should not be confused with contractions or acronyms, with which they share some semantic and phonetic functions, though all three are connoted by the term "abbreviation" in loose parlance.An abbreviation is a shortening by any method; a contraction is a reduction of size by the drawing together of the parts. A contraction of a word is made by omitting certain letters or syllables and bringing together the first and last letters or elements; an abbreviation may be made by omitting certain portions from the interior or by cutting off a part. A contraction is an abbreviation, but an abbreviation is not necessarily a contraction. However, normally, acronyms are regarded as a subgroup of abbreviations. Abbreviations can also be used to give a different context to the word itself, such as "PIN Number".

Editors Contribution

  1. abbreviation

    Letters to describe a word.

    The abbreviation for United Nations is UN.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 3, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. Abbreviation

    Abbreviate vs. Abbreviation -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Abbreviate and Abbreviation.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce abbreviation?

How to say abbreviation in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of abbreviation in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of abbreviation in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of abbreviation in a Sentence

  1. President Tayyip Erdogan:

    For us, there is no difference between the PKK, PYD, YPG, DHKP-C ... or whatever their abbreviation may be. One terrorist organization is no different than the other.

  2. Dick Cavett:

    I'm perplexed when people adopt the modish abbreviation Ms., which doesn't abbreviate anything except common sense.

  3. Guy Kawasaki:

    A crash is when your competitor's program dies. When your program dies, it is an 'idiosyncrasy'. Frequently, crashes are followed with a message like 'ID 02'. 'ID' is an abbreviation for idiosyncrasy and the number that follows indicates how many more months of testing the product should have had.

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Translations for abbreviation

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"abbreviation." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/abbreviation>.

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