consisting of the first letter or letters of words in a phrase
(for example, IRS
for Internal Revenue Service
or components of a word (TNT
), or a combination of words and syllables (ESP
for extrasensory perception
) and pronounced by spelling out the letters one by one rather than as a solid word.
Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Differs from an acronym
in that acronyms can be pronounced and often become words themselves that are then written in lowercase, e.g.: