Online Encyclopedia

ABBREVIATION (Lat. brevis, short)

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Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 27 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ABBREVIATION (Lat. brevis, short), strictly a shortening; more particularly, an " abbreviation " is a letter or group of letters, taken from a word or words, and employed to represent them for the sake of brevity. Abbreviations, both of single words and of phrases, having a meaning more or less fixed and recognized, are common in ancient writings and inscriptions (see PALAEOGRAPHY and DIPLoMATIc), and very many are in use at the present time. A distinction is to be observed between abbreviations and the contractions that are frequently to be met with in old manuscripts, and even in early printed books, whereby letters are dropped out here and there, or particular collocations of letters represented by somewhat arbitrary symbols. The commonest form of abbreviation is the substitution for a word of its initial letter; but, with a view to prevent ambiguity, one or more of the other letters are frequently added. Letters are often doubled to indicate a plural or a superlative. I. CLASSICAL ABBREVIATIONS.—The following list contains a selection from the abbreviations that occur in the writings and inscriptions of the Romans: A. A. Absolvo, Aedilis, Aes, Ager, Ago, Aio, Amicus, Annus, Antiquo, Auctor, Auditor, Augustus, Aulus, Aurum, Aut. A.A. Aes alienum, Ante audita, Apud agrum, Aurum argentum. AA. Augusti. AAA. Augusti tres. A.A.A.F.F. Auro argento acre flando feriundo.' A.A.V. Alter ambove. A.C. Acta causa, Alius civis. A.D. Ante diem; e.g. A.D.V. Ante diem quintum. A.D.A. Ad dandos agros.
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