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Meaning of initialism

in•i•tial•ism

Pronunciation: (i-nish'u-liz"um), [key]
— n.
  1. a name or term formed from the initial letters of a group of words and pronounced as a separate word, as NATO for North Atlantic Treaty Organization; an acronym.
  2. a set of initials representing a name, organization, or the like, with each letter pronounced separately, as FBI for Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  3. the practice of using initials or forming words from initials.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.