What are the differences between abbreviation, contraction and acronym?

I have looked up in a dictionary and here is what it says:

Contraction: A word, as won't from will not, or phrase, as o'clock from of the clock, formed by omitting or combining some of the sounds of a longer phrase.

Abbreviation: A shortened form of a word or phrase used chiefly in writing to represent the complete form, such as Mass. for Massachusetts or USMC for United States Marine Corps.

Acronym: A word formed from the initial letters of a name, such as WAC for Women's Army Corps, or by combining initial letters or parts of a series of words, such as radar for radio detecting and ranging.

Isn't abbreviation a subset of contraction based on the definitions provided? Also, acronym is quite similar to abbreviation, for example, USMC and WAC? Could someone please clarify the differences? Thanks
acronym: just initials
abbreviation: shortening (cut some of the final letters, etc)
contraction: some of the middle letters can be removed too

Bitcoin Social Trading Network

Join millions who have already discovered smarter strategies for investing in Bitcoin. Learn from experienced eToro traders or copy their positions automatically!


Simply put, an acronym is an abbreviation that is pronounced as a word.

eg FBI is an abbreviation. We pronounce each letter separately, thus eff bee eye

eg NATO is an acronym. We pronounce it as a word naytoe, not as enn eh tee oh

So, USMC is an abbreviation but not an acronym.

best wishes, Clive
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
So, USMC for United States Marine Corps is both a abbreviation and also acronym? Can I say acronym is a special case of abbreviation since acronym is abbreviated and left with only initials?
 Clive's reply was promoted to an answer.
Try out our live chat room.
New2grammarWhat are the differences between abbreviation, contraction and acronym?
An acronym is a set of letters that can be pronounced as a single word (e.g., NATO pronounced "NAY-TOE") whereas an abbreviation is pronounced one letter at a time (e.g., CSS pronounced "SEE ESS ESS").

source : http://mondaybynoon.com/2007/01/08/abbreviation-or-acronym-whats-the-difference /