Meaning of INITIAL in English

I. i-ˈni-shəl adjective

Etymology: Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French iniciel, from Latin initialis, from initium beginning, from inire to go into, from in- + ire to go — more at issue

Date: 1526

1. : of or relating to the beginning : incipient

his initial reaction

2. : placed at the beginning : first

the initial word of the verse

• ini·tial·ly i-ˈni-sh(ə-)lē adverb

• ini·tial·ness i-ˈni-shəl-nəs noun

II. noun

Date: 1627


a. : the first letter of a name

b. plural : the first letter of each word in a full name

found that their initial s were identical

2. : a large letter beginning a text or a division or paragraph

3. : anlage , precursor ; specifically : a meristematic cell

III. transitive verb

( ini·tialed or ini·tialled ; ini·tial·ing or ini·tial·ling i-ˈni-sh(ə-)liŋ)

Date: circa 1864

1. : to affix an initial to

2. : to authenticate or give preliminary approval to by affixing the initials of an authorizing representative

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.