Share this entry

Share this page

Acronyms

Acronyms are words formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as they are spelled, not as separate letters. Examples include: 

acronym
full form
AIDS
acquired immune deficiency syndrome
NATO
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
UNESCO
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization
SIM (card)
subscriber identification module
 
  • Most acronyms can be written as capital letters or with only an initial capital letter. 
  • Some acronyms are so established that they are now ‘normal’ words, generally used without conscious awareness of their original full form. These words should be written in lowercase letters. Examples include: 
laser
light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation
radar
radio detection and ranging
quango
quasi-autonomous nongovernmental organization
scuba
self-contained underwater breathing apparatus

 

Share this entry

Share this page


Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Grammar and usage