Common Abbreviations

Updated November 30, 2022 | Infoplease Staff

This table provides some comon abbreviations and their meanings. Notice that many abbreviations only differ by a capitalization or punctuation, which can be perplexing! This table willl ensure you will no longer confuse GMT (Greenwich mean time) with GDP (gross national product), or SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) with sec (seconds). And be sure to check out our guide to state abbreviations so you can finally determine whether MO stands for Montana or Missouri!

A.B. Artium Baccalaureus [Bachelor of Arts]
abbr. abbreviation(s), abbreviated
Acad. Academy
A.D. anno Domini [in the year of the Lord]
alt. altitude
A.M. ante meridiem [before noon]; Artium Magister [Master of Arts]
AM amplitude modulation
Assn. Association
at. no. atomic number
at. wt. atomic weight
Aug. August
Ave. Avenue
AWOL absent without leave
b. born, born in
B.A. Bachelor of Arts
B.C. Before Christ
b.p. boiling point
B.S. Bachelor of Science
Btu British thermal unit(s)
C Celsius (centigrade)
c. circa [about]
cal calorie(s)
Capt. Captain
cent. century, centuries
cm centimeter(s)
co. county
Col. Colonel; Colossians
Comdr. Commander
Corp. Corporation
Cpl. Corporal
cu cubic
d. died, died in
D.C. District of Columbia
Dec. December
dept. department
dist. district
div. division
Dr. doctor
E east, eastern
ed. edited, edition, editor(s)
est. established; estimated
et al. et alii [and others]
F Fahrenheit
Feb. February
fl. floruit [flourished]
fl oz fluid ounce(s)
FM frequency modulation
ft foot, feet
gal. gallon(s)
Gen. General, Genesis
GMT Greenwich mean time
GNP gross national product
GOP Grand Old Party (Republican Party)
Gov. governor
grad. graduated, graduated at
H hour(s)
Hon. the Honorable
hr hour(s)
i.e. id est [that is]
in. inch(es)
inc. incorporated
Inst. Institute, Institution
IRA Irish Republican Army
IRS Internal Revenue Service
Jan. January
Jr. Junior
K Kelvin
kg kilogram(s)
km kilometer(s)
£ libra [pound], librae [pounds]
lat. latitude
lb libra [pound], librae [pounds]
Lib. Library
long. longitude
Lt. Lieutenant
Ltd. Limited
m meter(s)
M minute(s)
M.D. Medicinae Doctor [Doctor of Medicine]
mg milligram(s)
mi mile(s)
min minute(s)
mm millimeter(s)
mph miles per hour
Mr. Mister (always abbreviated)
Mrs. Mistress (always abbreviated)
Msgr Monsignor
mt. Mount, Mountain
mts. mountains
Mus. Museum
N north; Newton(s)
NAACP National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NE northeast
no. number
Nov. November
OAS Organization of American States
Oct. October
Op. Opus [work]
oz ounce(s)
pl. plural
pop. population
pseud. pseudonym
pt. part(s)
pt pint(s)
pub. published; publisher
qt quart(s)
Rev. Revelation; the Reverend
rev. revised
R.N. registered nurse
rpm revolution(s) per minute
RR railroad
S south
S second(s)
SEATO Southeast Asia Treaty Organization
SEC Securities and Exchange Commission
sec second(s); secant
Sept. September
Ser. Series
Sgt. Sergeant
sq square
Sr. Senior
SSR Soviet Socialist Republic
St. Saint; Street
UNICEF United Nations Children's Fund
uninc. unincorporated
Univ. University
U.S. United States
USA United States Army
USAF United States Air Force
USCG United States Coast Guard
USMC United States Marine Corps
USN United States Navy
USSR Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
VFW Veterans of Foreign Wars
VISTA Volunteers in Service to America
vol. volume(s)
vs. versus
W west; watt(s)
WHO World Health Organization
wt. weight
yd yard(s)
YMCA Young Men's Christian Association
YWCA Young Women's Christian Association
Sources +

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