abbreviation
Definition - A shortened version of a word.

Example -
The words laser (an acronym), zip (an anacronym), BBC (an initialism), and Ltd. (an abbreviated form of the word Limited) are all types of abbreviations.
Note: The symbol @, when it stands for the word at, is not an abbreviation; it is a phonogram.

Usage:

1. According to Fowler' Modern English Usage:
(1) If the abbreviation was made by removing letters from the end of the word, end it with a period (e.g. dict. for dictionary).
(2) If the abbreviation was made by removing letters from the middle of the word, don't end it with a period (e.g. Mr for Mister).

Etymology -
The word derives via Middle French from the Late Latin abbreviationem, made brief (from ad, to + breviare, shorten).

Oxford English Dictionary -
The first citation for the word in this sense is from 1727:
"Most of the books we see now-a-days are full of those manglings and abbreviations."
(Jonathan Swift, Letter on Eng. Wks. 1755 II. i. 188)



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