Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

Written abbreviations

abbreviation

noun

a short form of a word or phrase

acronym

noun

an abbreviation consisting of letters that form a word. For example, NATO is an acronym for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

anon.

abbreviation

anonymous

apt.

abbreviation

apartment

AV

abbreviation

audiovisual

B

abbreviation

used for replacing “be” in other words

BAU

abbreviation

business as usual: used for referring to a situation where everything is happening as normal, especially after a period when it was not

bpi

abbreviation

bits per inch: a unit for measuring the quality of magnetic tape

Capt.

abbreviation

captain

CCTV

noun

closed-circuit television

cf.

abbreviation

used for referring to something that is connected with the subject you are discussing or reading about

cont.

abbreviation

content

cont.

abbreviation

continued: used for showing that a piece of writing is being continued

contd.

abbreviation

continued

Ct.

abbreviation

Court

cu.

abbreviation

cubic

deg.

abbreviation

degree

del.

abbreviation

delete

dept.

abbreviation

department

d.o.b.

abbreviation

date of birth

doc.

abbreviation

document

doz.

abbreviation

dozen

ed.

abbreviation

editor

ed.

abbreviation

edition

e.g.

abbreviation

for example: used for giving an example of what you mean

Eng.

abbreviation

English

esp.

abbreviation

especially

est.

abbreviation

established: used with a date after the name of a business or other organization to show when it was started

et al.

abbreviation

used after a name to mean “and other people whose names are not mentioned,” especially people who have written a book together

etc.

abbreviation

used after a list of things to mean “and others of the same type,” when you do not want to mention everything

f.

abbreviation

following

F.

abbreviation

false

ff

abbreviation

and following: used for referring to the pages or lines that come after the number mentioned

fig.

abbreviation

figure: a picture in a book

Fr.

abbreviation

formerly

fwd

abbreviation

forward

FX

abbreviation

special effect

gr.

abbreviation

grade

gsoh

abbreviation

good sense of humor: used in newspaper personal columns

Gt.

abbreviation

great

hist.

abbreviation

history

hp

abbreviation

horsepower

ibid.

abbreviation

used in writing when you are including words from a particular book for the second time, and want to show that they are from the same book that you mentioned before

IC

abbreviation

integrated circuit

IC

abbreviation

internal combustion

Inc.

abbreviation

Incorporated: used in the U.S. after the name of a large company, or a group of companies working together under one name

incl.

abbreviation

including

incl.

abbreviation

inclusive

initialism

noun

an abbreviation consisting of the first letters of each word, pronounced separately. NHS and CBS are initialisms..

Inst.

abbreviation

Institute

int.

abbreviation

internal

int.

abbreviation

international

intl.

abbreviation

international

IV

abbreviation

intravenous

IV

abbreviation

intravenously

J.P.

abbreviation

Justice of the Peace

l.

abbreviation

left

l.

abbreviation

length

lat.

abbreviation

latitude

Lib.

abbreviation

Liberal

ll.

abbreviation

lines: used for referring to particular lines of text in a book

m.

abbreviation

mass

M.

abbreviation

middle

max.

abbreviation

maximum

min.

abbreviation

minimum

misc.

abbreviation

miscellaneous

mkt

abbreviation

market

msg.

abbreviation

message

n/a

abbreviation

not applicable: used on forms when the form requests information or asks a question that is not relevant to you

n/a

abbreviation

not available: used on forms, for example to show that a product is not available

nat.

abbreviation

national

nat.

abbreviation

natural

neg.

abbreviation

negative

op cit

abbreviation

used in a piece of formal writing for referring to a book that you have already mentioned

opp.

abbreviation

opposite

p.

abbreviation

page

p.a.

abbreviation

per annum

par.

abbreviation

paragraph

passim

adverb

used in notes for a book or article for showing that something is mentioned in many places in it

pd.

abbreviation

paid

pk.

abbreviation

pack

Pk.

abbreviation

park

Pl.

abbreviation

place

pp.

abbreviation

pages

PR

noun

public relations

PR

noun

purchase request: a suggestion or written request that someone buy something

pr.

abbreviation

pair

prep.

abbreviation

preparatory

Prof.

abbreviation

Professor: used in writing before the name of a professor

Q.

abbreviation

question

Q.E.D.

abbreviation

used in formal writing for saying that a particular fact proves that what you have said is true

q.v.

abbreviation

used in books after a page number to show where you should look to find more information

r.

abbreviation

right

recd.

abbreviation

received

reg.

abbreviation

registration

regd.

abbreviation

registered

Rep.

abbreviation

Representative

Rx.

abbreviation

prescription

sec.

abbreviation

secretary

sec.

abbreviation

section

sic

adverb

used in writing after a word that is not spelled or used correctly to show that you have written it that way because you are repeating what someone else said or wrote

Soc.

abbreviation

Society

TBA

abbreviation

to be announced: used for saying that you will be told something at a later time because it has not yet been decided

tbc

abbreviation

to be confirmed: used for showing that something has not been decided yet

TM

abbreviation

trademark

v.

abbreviation

versus

viz.

abbreviation

used, especially in writing, when you want to give more specific information about something that you have just mentioned

vol.

abbreviation

volume

vs.

abbreviation

versus

yr.

abbreviation

your

yrs.

abbreviation

yours

etc. etc.

used as a way of avoiding mentioning a lot of things that people know already

property porn

a type of television programme, magazine article, etc which shows off desirable homes …

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day

chimera

a plan or course of action that is not possible to achieve

Open Dictionary

flat design

a type of design used on the web which excludes features which give a three-dimensional effect … and uses simple styles

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog