An acronym ―from the Greek ἄκρος, transliterated as akrós ('extreme')
and ὄνομα, ónoma ('name')―is that word that results from the
abbreviation of two or more words, which constitute a single phrase or
concept, by the union from their opposite ends. Although it is generally
used to describe a word formed by a combination of words (even if they
are more than two and it is not made up of the ends of these), or
letters (usually initials, of an expression with the purpose of
The acronym can be an acronym that is pronounced like a word —and
that ends up being completely lexicalized by use in most cases, such as
“laser” or “UFO”— or a word formed by joining parts of two words. This
type of acronym merges two lexical elements, almost always taking the
beginning from the first element and the end from the second.
The meaning of an acronym is the sum of the meanings of the words
that form it. For example, the term " telematics " comes
from telecommunication and informatics (which in turn is an acronym
for information and automatic.
Acronyms have become popular in recent times, so that their use is
now widespread, although they are still more frequent in the technical
languages used in professional specialties, such as medicine, computer
science or engineering, as well as in the names of organizations and
There is a disparity of criteria if by acronyms only the sequences of
letters that can be pronounced as words are understood because there is
one or more vowels in the acronym that allow it to be read, or if the
acronyms include all the sequences of letters, even if they cannot be
pronounced as words. and have to be pronounced letter by letter (that
is, a synonym of acronym).
Acronyms can be made up of two nouns: motel, from
the English motor-hotel; from an adjective and a noun: docudrama,
from dramatic documentary; or two adjectives: Spanglish,
from Spanish and English.
Acronyms are always written and pronounced like a normal word, and
their gender is that of the parent element.
In Spanish, the acronym process is not very common, but it is
old. An example of this was the change in the fifteenth century of the
form of respect Vos por tu mercy, which gave rise to
the acronym tú.
Sometimes the acronym creates confusion in its meaning because it
uses parts of terms that were already used independently as cultured
roots; for example eurocracia, which means 'European
bureaucracy' and not 'European power', as in the terms con- cracia ('power'); for
example: autocracy ('power of one') or democracy ('power
of the people').
list of acronyms
Acronyms that cannot be pronounced as words (some authors claim
that these acronyms are acronyms, although acronym refers to the
initial letter of a word):
- ADSL: asymmetric digital subscriber line.
- DNA: deoxyribonucleic acid (amino acid molecules essential
- RNA: ribonucleic acid
- BBC: British Broadcasting Corporation (British broadcasting
- WB: World Bank
- CD: compact disc (compact disc).
- CD-R: compact disc-recordable (recordable compact
- CD-ROM: compact disc - read only memory. 
- CD-RW: compact disc - rewritable (compact disc
- CRC– Cyclic Redundancy Check, an error detection mechanism
in digital systems.
- CRC(Children Rights Committee: Commission on the Rights of
the Child), an international treaty.
- DVD: digital versatile disc (digital versatile
- FBI: Federal Bureau of Investigation.
- IMF: International Monetary Fund
- JPEG: Joint Photographic Experts Group.
- LM, cigarette trademark
- NBA: National Basketball Association of the United States
- NBC: National Broadcasting Company (national broadcasting
company), American television network.
- WTO: World Trade Organization
- WHO: World Health Organization (WHO: World Health
- NGO: Non-Governmental Organization
- PAHO: Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
- GDPor GDP: gross domestic product
- SMS: Short Message Service, text message sent through cell
- UBV: Bolivarian University of Venezuela (Venezuela).
- UC: University of California (United States).
- UC: University of Cantabria (Spain).
- UCI: Independent Democratic Union, political party in Chile.
- UCLM: University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain).
- UCM: Catholic University of Maule (Chile).
- UCM: Complutense University of Madrid (Spain).
- UCR: University of Costa Rica, in San José (Costa Rica). [two]
- EU: European Union.
- IUCN: International Union for Conservation of Nature.
- UNL: National University of the Litoral, in Santa Fe
- UNL: National University of Loja, in Loja (Ecuador). 
- UCV: Central University of Venezuela
- UNAC: National University of Callao (Peru).
- UPC: Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Spain).
- US: University of Seville.
- USP: University of São Paulo.
- UTC: Universal Coordinated Time.
- VHS: video home system.
Among the speakers there is no consensus about whether the groups
formed by two or more letters that represent one or several words are
acronyms or not. For example, Aviaco (Aviation and Trade).
- Acronyms that merge or combine two words:
- emoticon, emoticon or emoticon, from the English emoticon
(emotion + icon: emotion
plus icon. Incomplete translation of another English acronym. A
new expansion of the acronym can be invented: 'emotional icon'
- Czech, from Russian ЧК = чрезвычайная +
комиссия, transliterated as Chrezvychainaya Komissiya,
- Acronyms that are pronounced like words:
- UNHCR: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
- Aena, Spanish Airports and Air Navigation.
- AFA: Argentine Football Association
- AI: Amnesty International
- AI: Association of Internet Users
- NSAID: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
- ANSI: American National Standards Institute.
- BIOS: basic input/output system.
- CANTV[kantevé]: National Telephone Company of Venezuela.
- CIA: Central Intelligence Agency.
- ENOCEmirates National Oil Company
- FAO: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
- FIDE: Fédération Internationale des Échecs (International
- ICAO International Civil Aviation Organization
(ICAOinternational civil aviation organization).
- IATA: International Air Transport Association.
- NASA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
- NASCAR: National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.
- NASDAQ: National Association of Securities Dealers Automated
- UN: United Nations Organization
- NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization
- ILO: International Labor Organization (ILO).
- Renfe, National Network of Spanish Railways.
- Talgo: Goicoechea-Oriol light articulated train
- UA: University of Alicante (Spain).
- UACh: Austral University of Chile (Chile).
- UACh: Chapingo Autonomous University (Mexico).
- UACh: Autonomous University of Chihuahua (Mexico).
- UAM: Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain).
- UAM: Autonomous Metropolitan University (Mexico).
- UBA: University of Buenos Aires (Argentina).
- UDENAR: University of Nariño (Colombia).
- ULA: University of the Andes, in Bogotá (Colombia).
- UNAH: National Autonomous University of Honduras (Honduras).
- UNAM: National Autonomous University of Mexico.
- Unesco: United Nation's Educational, Scientific and Cultural
- UNICEF: United Nation's International Children's Emergency
- WHO[jú]: World Health Organization or WHO (World Health
- Acronyms formed from the initial syllables of several words:
- Polisario Front, from the Popular Front for the Liberation
of Saguía el Hamra and Río de Oro.
- black market, from a fraudulent roulette wheel created by
Strauss, Perel and Lowann; it refers to the illegal trade of
goods subject to some type of tax by the State; Synonym of black
In a few special cases, due to its wide use, the sequence of letters
makes the acronym a common noun, lowercase and pluralizable. Sometimes
its original meaning is forgotten.
- bit: binary digit (binary digit).
- laser, from the English light amplification by stimulated
emission of radiation ('amplification of light by stimulated
emission of radiation'); before 2001 it had to be spelled LASER
- UFO, unidentified flying object.
- radar, from the English Radio Detection and Ranging ('detection
and measurement of distances by radio'); first RADAR, and later
became a common noun: radar.
- AIDS, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; before 2001 you
should write AIDS.
- Acronyms to which a vowel is expressly incorporated to make it
- Renfe: National Network of Spanish Railways