• Back cover, showing a waterfall; a house; a small boat at sea; decorative initials
    Back cover, showing a waterfall; a house; a small boat at sea; decorative initials
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj initial occurring at the beginning "took the initial step toward reconciliation"
    • v initial mark with one's initials
    • n initial the first letter of a word (especially a person's name) "he refused to put the initials FRS after his name"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

An assortment of glass bottle seals in the Jamestown collection. Some of the wealthy planters had their initials (or other ornamental device) stamped on the shoulders of the wine bottles which they ordered from England An assortment of glass bottle seals in the Jamestown collection. Some of the wealthy planters had their initials (or...
Early Chiswick Press Initials Early Chiswick Press Initials

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Coca-Cola used to contain cocaine when it was initially introduced
    • Initial Of or pertaining to the beginning; marking the commencement; incipient; commencing; as, the initial symptoms of a disease.
    • Initial Placed at the beginning; standing at the head, as of a list or series; as, the initial letters of a name.
    • n Initial The first letter of a word or a name.
    • v. t Initial To put an initial to; to mark with an initial of initials.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The Xerox company was initially called the Haloid Company
    • initial Of or pertaining to the beginning; incipient: as, the initial step in a proceeding.
    • initial Placed at the beginning; standing at the head: as, the initial letter of a word, or of a chapter in a book.
    • n initial The initial or first letter of a word; an initial letter. A person's initials are the first letters in proper order of the words composing his name. To sign a paper with one's initials is to write only the first letter of each of one's names, including the surname. A person's surname being known or separately written, his initials are the first letters of his other names: as, what are Mr. Jones's initials?
    • n initial The first letter of a book or writing, or of any division of it, distinguished from the body of the text by larger size or more ornamental character, or both. The initials of medieval manuscript books are often works of high art, elaborate in design and bright in color, generally red. Ornamented and colored initials were also used in many early printed books, sometimes separately executed by hand. In modern books initials, when used, are either plain or ornamental; and they are still sometimes printed in red.
    • n initial In plain-song, a tone with which a melody may begin. In strict usage the initials for each mode are prescribed, and called absolute initials.
    • initial To put one's initial or initials to or on; sign or mark with initials: as, an initialed handkerchief; initialed paper.
    • n initial In steam-engines, an abbreviation of initial pressure (which see).
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The sport Lacrosse was initially played by Native American Indians. They played the sport to prepare for war
    • adj Initial in-ish′al commencing: placed at the beginning
    • n Initial the letter beginning a word, esp. a name
    • v.t Initial to put the initials of one's name to:—pr.p. init′ialing (-alling); pa.p. init′ialed (-alled)
    • v.i Initial to perform the first act or rite
    • n Initial one who is initiated
    • adj Initial fresh: unpractised
    • n Initial an introductory step: the power or right of commencing
    • n Initial introductory rite
    • ***


  • Victor Hugo
    “Initiative is doing the right thing without being told.”
  • Chris Evert Lloyd
    Chris Evert Lloyd
    “You've got to take the initiative and play your game. In a decisive set, confidence is the difference.”
  • Eddie Murphy
    Eddie Murphy
    “I've always had confidence. It came because I have lots of initiative. I wanted to make something of myself.”
  • George Holbrook Jackson
    George Holbrook Jackson
    “Genius is initiative on fire.”
  • William B. Given
    William B. Given
    “Details often kill initiative, but there have been few successful men who weren't good at details. Don't ignore details. Lick them.”
  • Betty Bender
    Betty Bender
    “Anything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile... initially scared me to death.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. initialis, from initium, a going in, entrance, beginning, fr. inire, to go into, to enter, begin; pref. in-, in + ire, to go: cf. F. initial,. See Issue, and cf. Commence


In literature:

The initials will give a woman's name.
"Chatterbox, 1906" by Various
Initial t- and d- alternate (Dialectic Variants, Chapter III) according to locality.
"The Romance of Names" by Ernest Weekley
In the life of Jesus, this "great" initiation was added to the Buddha initiation.
"Christianity As A Mystical Fact" by Rudolf Steiner
This program failed because of the initiative of the Roman Consul commanding the new fleet.
"A History of Sea Power" by William Oliver Stevens and Allan Westcott
No girl with initiative or knowledge of housework needs to remain in such a position.
"The Canadian Girl at Work" by Marjory MacMurchy
It's a sort of initiation, you know.
"A Patriotic Schoolgirl" by Angela Brazil
His partnership is not suspected; or, if so, only by the initiated.
"The Flag of Distress" by Mayne Reid
In addition to the high initial cost of machines and engines, their maintenance also requires the greatest care.
"Aviation in Peace and War" by Sir Frederick Hugh Sykes
The initial syllables of Ulysses and of Rutherford make an inclusion by sound.
"Assimilative Memory" by Marcus Dwight Larrowe (AKA Prof. A. Loisette)
There are few men of great talent who initially have an unswerving inner conviction that they possess the final answer, as to themselves.
"The Armed Forces Officer" by U. S. Department of Defense

In poetry:

When I sat
Filing at
Your first point, and dreaming that
Your initial song should be
Worthy of posterity.
"A Worn-Out Pencil" by James Whitcomb Riley
To my garden here translated,
Foliage of this eastern tree
Nourishes the initiated
With it’s meaning’s mystery.
"Ginkgo Biloba " by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Mother of the shadowed sphere,
Where we dwell and suffer now,
Lo! the initiate days are here,
Bright is thy dawn-lit brow.
"The Mysteries Of Eleusis" by Annie Adams Fields
"Coming from a gloomy court,
Place of Israelite resort,
This old lamp I've brought with me.
Madam, on its panes you'll see
The initials K and E."
"Mrs. Katherine’s Lantern" by William Makepeace Thackeray
Was it not you who bore my soul aloft
Upon the inspiration of your sacred verse,
Who flamed before me like a holy vision,
Initiating me into life's beauty?
"To A Familiar Genius Flying" by Vasily Andreyevich Zhukovsky
Through all the mysteries of May,
Initiate, I take my way--
Sure as the blithest lark or linnet
To touch the pulsing soul within it--
Yet with no art to reach Her heart,
Nor skill to teach me how to win it!
"The Secret" by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

In news:

They initially got legislation passed in some states to ban barbed wire or at least hold fencers responsible for any damages they caused.
Facebook may be gearing up for one of the biggest initial public offerings ever, but it may get a bargain in at least one part of the deal: bank fees.
Living green is a huge initiative that so many find hard to embrace.
LONDON — Prince Harry is finishing his first phase of initial training at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.
Several state races on election night 2012 looked a lot like the 2004 race for governor with the races for governor, Initiative 1240 for charter schools and secretary of state being too close to call.
President Barack Obama put improving the federal acquisition process at the center of his management initiatives.
Silent Witness program, which is a nationwide initiative is from 9 am to 4 p.m.
Teachers and parents beat back Oregon initiative targeting English language learners.
Georgia fisherman, writer and photographer Bill Vanderford, was hosted on a visit to St Lawrence County by FISHCAP, the initiative working to lure anglers to the St Lawrence River Valley.
Charlottesville Inside-Out: The Women's Initiative.
It details the initial movement of Wayne from the site he was supporting in Afghanistan.
Bessemer Video Project to Promote Regional Placemaking Initiative.
Cuomo said an initial price tag for last week's Superstorm Sandy is $50 billion for the region.
In teams of two or five, the workers of Clean Augusta Downtown Initiative are nearing three years of sweeping leaves, cleaning sidewalks and creating a sense of safety and goodwill within the city's 15-block business improvement district.
Corinne Wilson is in charge of research and policy for the Center for Policy Initiatives in San Diego.

In science:

In our case, only initial point A(ti ) should be kept fixed, while the initial rate ˙A(ti ) (or, equivalently, the final point A(tf )), is sub ject to optimization.
Generalized Entropy approach to far-from-equilibrium statistical mechanics
A0 αi = |spini ⊗ |A0 αi, where α specifies the state of the whole universe, with the exception of the initial state of the micro–particle and the initial “position” of the pointer; |spini is the initial state–vector of the particle.
A General Argument Against the Universal Validity of the Superposition Principle
Numerical simulations show that for random weights w and random initial states S the sequence has a transient initial part and finally runs into a one of several possible cycles.
Predicting and generating time series by neural networks: An investigation using statistical physics
We randomly initialize the states of the automata (initial condition of the RBN).
Self-Organized Critical Random Boolean Networks
The initial self-overlap is a(t = 1) = 0.5 due to the random state initialization.
Self-Organized Critical Random Boolean Networks