A CDE Definition
(BACKward acRONYM) A reverse acronym. Instead of turning a multi-word term into letters, such as "central processing unit" into CPU, a given set of letters becomes a multi-word term. For example, TEMPEST was a code name that was turned into "Telecommunications Electronics Material Protected from Emanating Spurious Transmissions." DVD originally meant "digital video disc" but was later changed to "digital versatile disc." See acronym.
A word typically made up of the first letters of two or more words; for example, BASIC stands for "Beginners All purpose Symbolic Instruction Code." Letters within a word are also used; for example, XML means "eXtensible Markup Language."
Technically, if only first letters are used, the term is an "initialism," but this distinction is not widely made. For an excellent acronym resource, visit www.acronymfinder.com. See backronym.
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