What does initial mean?

Definitions for initial
ɪˈnɪʃ əlini·tial

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word initial.

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


  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

  5. 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.]


  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.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Initial

    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. initialisinitium, a beginning, inīre, inītumin, into, īre, ītum, to go.]

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

How to pronounce initial?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say initial in sign language?

  1. initial


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of initial in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of initial in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of initial in a Sentence

  1. Justin Gold:

    I’ll never forget my initial meeting with Bo.

  2. Joshua Sussberg:

    The initial RSA can be terminated at any moment.

  3. Susan Wild:

    The initial summary of the phone call was damning.

  4. Martine Wright:

    My first initial reaction was, 'We've had a crash,'.

  5. Andrus Ansip:

    It is clear they have to move towards our initial proposal.

Images & Illustrations of initial

  1. initialinitialinitialinitialinitial

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for initial

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • إنسيال, أولArabic
  • inicial, obertura, caplletra, inicialsCatalan, Valencian
  • počáteční, výchozíCzech
  • Initial, ursprünglich, Anfangsbuchstabe, anfänglich, Initiale, ersterGerman
  • inicialSpanish
  • varhainen, alkuperäinen, alku-, ensimmäinen, nimikirjaimilla, nimikirjaimet, anfangi, alkukirjain, alustava, esi-Finnish
  • initiale, lettrine, initial, première lettre, parapherFrench
  • túslitirIrish
  • tùsailScottish Gaelic
  • प्रारंभिकHindi
  • սկզբնատառArmenian
  • inizialeItalian
  • イニシャル, 最初, 始め, 声母, 初期Japanese
  • 聲母, 성모Korean
  • initialLatin
  • initiaal, paraferen, voorletter, beginletterDutch
  • førsteNorwegian
  • inicjałPolish
  • inicial, inicialmentePortuguese
  • iniţialăRomanian
  • начальный, начальная буква, инициал, оригинальный, первичный, первоначальный, инициаль, исходный, буквица, первый, парафироватьRussian
  • иницијал, inicijalSerbo-Croatian
  • initialSwedish
  • แรกเริ่มThai
  • ilkTurkish
  • thanh mẫu, 聲母Vietnamese
  • ערשטYiddish
  • 初始Chinese

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