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abbreviate (verb): make shorter; shorten (a word or words)
abbreviation (noun): a short form of a word or words

An abbreviation is a short form of a word or phrase. All of the short forms that you see below ↓ are abbreviations.

Dr - Co. - Ltd - c.o.d - NASA - laser - let's - DVD - radar - a.s.a.p. - etc. - FAQ - HTML

There are four main types of abbreviation, and the way that we write, punctuate and pronounce any abbreviation depends largely on its type. Click on each type of abbreviation below for more information:

advertisement → ad

Doctor → Dr

British Broadcasting Corporation → BBC

subscriber identification module → sim

Abbreviations Quiz - Try this quiz to check your understanding of abbreviations.

Note that the division of abbreviation categories shown above is for basic guidance. In reality, some categories may have sub-categories and other categories can exist, especially in specialized language such as medical or scientific English or concerning foreign words used in English.