ETYM Late Lat. abbreviatio: cf. French abbréviation.
1. A shortened form of a word or phrase.
2. Shortening something by omitting parts of it.
Shortened form of a word or group of words, usually the initials (UN for United Nations, VIP for very important person). An abbreviation that is pronounced as a new word is an acronym (NATO for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, Oftel for Office of Telecommunications); an abbreviation that uses the first and last letter of a word is a contraction (Dr, St).