Tutorial :Difference between and ?


Definitionally they seem the same, yet they are deemed dissimilar enough by the W3C to have separate tag definitions. What is the semantic difference between <acronym> and <abbr> in terms of linguistics, the HTML spec and interpretation.


An acronym is made of the initial letters of some words (e.g.Hypertext Mark-up Language => HTML), while an abbreviation is a shortened form of a word (e.g. abbreviation => abbr).

Wikipedia gives a more accurate view of the nitty-gritty details.


Actually, the differences are so small that HTML5 decided to drop acronym in favour of abbr.


abbreviation: A shortened form of a word.
ex: lb., amt., mgmt.

initialism: An abbreviation formed from the initial letters of a phrase

acronym: An initialism that is pronounced as a word.
ex: radar, scuba, JIT, WYSIWYG


Old question aside, the <acronym> tag is not supported in HTML5. Use the <abbr> tag instead.


http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/text.html#edef-ABBR says:

Western languages make extensive use of acronyms such as "GmbH", "NATO", and "F.B.I.", as well as abbreviations like "M.", "Inc.", "et al.", "etc.". Both Chinese and Japanese use analogous abbreviation mechanisms, wherein a long name is referred to subsequently with a subset of the Han characters from the original occurrence.

So I guess Aa Bb Cccccc -> ABC is acronym, -> Ab Bb Ccc. is abbreviation. Practically I saw people use <abbr>.


Abbreviation is just a short form of a word or a phrase while acronym represents each letter in a word (e.g. ASAP: as soon as possible).


abbr: uses short form of the word. example:- U.K. for United Kingdom acronym: word formed from the initial parts of a name, such as Commintern, from Communist International

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