Difference Between Acronyms & Abbreviations

An abbreviation is a shortened form of a word or phrase, originating from the Latin word breves which means short. There are various ways to form abbreviations, including contractions, initialisms, and acronyms. A contraction is a simple shortened form of a word, made by removing certain sounds or letters (e.g., don’t, won’t, I’ve). Initialism is an abbreviation made by the first letters of a series of words, with the letters read out individually (e.g., ASAP, DIY, FBI, CEO).

Key Takeaways

  • An acronym is a form of abbreviation that takes up the initials of all the words in a phrase or group of words and is pronounced as a separate word (e.g., UNICEF, AIDS, NATO).
  • Acronyms generally have both vowels and consonants in them, making them easy to pronounce, and are usually written in capital letters.
  • The main difference between an acronym and an abbreviation is that an acronym is a new word formed from the first letters of a series of words, while an abbreviation is any shortened form of a word or phrase.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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