300 Technical English abbreviations list

Summary: The most useful acronyms and other short forms for engineers and other technical staff

By: | Audience: Teachers | Category: Teaching English for Specific Purposes

This is a list of acronyms and other common engineering abbreviations for chemicals, plastics, electronics, etc. 

2D – (in) two dimensions

3D – (in) three dimensions

4G – fourth generation (technology)

A – ampere(s)

A/C – air conditioning

AC – alternating current

AI – artificial intelligence

AIM – amplitude intensity modulation

Al – aluminium

ALU – arithmetic logic unit

AM (radio) – amplitude modulation

amp – ampere(s)/ amplifier

app – (smartphone) application

approx. – approximately (= around/ about/ more or less)

AR – augmented reality

ARCNET – attached resource computer network

arms – armaments

ASCII - American Standard Code for Information Interchange

ASDL – asymmetric digital subscriber line

aux – auxiliary

av – (on) average

AV – audio-visual

BCC – blind carbon copy

biotech – biotechnology

bot – robot

BSI – British Standards Institution

btu – British thermal unit(s)

bulb – light bulb

(degrees) C – (degrees) Celsius/ Centigrade

C – carbon

c – centi- (as in “cm” for “centimetres” and “cl” for “centilitres”)

Ca – calcium

CAD (CAM) – computer aided design (computer aided manufacture)

(K)cal – (kilo)calorie(s)

cat – catalytic convertor

CC – carbon copy (also a verb, meaning to copy someone in)

cc – cubic centimetres

CCTV – closed circuit television

CD – compact disc (player)

CDU – central display unit

cell(phone) – cellular phone

CFC – chlorofluorocarbons

CGI – computer generated imagery

CIO – chief information officer/ chief investment officer

Co - cobalt

CO2 – carbon dioxide

coax - coaxial (cable)

comms – communications

cos – cosine

CPU – central processing unit

CRT – cathode ray tube

CSIRO – Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (of Australia)

CTO – chief technology officer

cu… – cubic…

cwt – hundredweight

d – deci- (as in “dl” for “decilitres”)

DAB – digital audio broadcasting (= digital radio)

dB – decibel(s)

DC – direct current

del/ DEL – delete (written abbreviation only)

demo – (product) demonstration

dish – satellite dish

DM – direct message

doc – document

DOE – Department of Energy

doz. – dozen (written abbreviation)

dozer – bulldozer

DVD – digital video disc/ digital versatile disc

e mail – electronic mail

EPA – Environmental Protection Agency

err/ ERR – error

esc/ ESC – escape (key) (written abbreviation)

est. – estimated

ext. – exterior/ external/ extract

F – fluorine

(degrees) F – (degrees) Fahrenheit

F1/ F2/ F… – function (button)

fax – facsimile

FDA – Food and Drug Administration

(J/JUG/MOS)FET – (junction/ junction gate/ metal-oxide semiconductor) field-effect transistor

FFWD – fast forward (written abbreviation)

fig. 1/ fig. 2/ fig… – figure 1/ figure 2/ figure…

fin tech –financial technology

fl. oz. – fluid ounce(s)

floppy – floppy disk

(mega)flops – (million) floating point operations per second

FM (radio) – frequency modulation (radio)

forklift – forklift truck

fridge – refrigerator

ft – foot/ feet

fwd/ FWD – forward (= send on)

g – (acceleration of) gravity

G – giga- (as in “GW” for “gigawatts” and “GHz” for “gigahertz”)

g – gram(s)

G/ GB/ gig – gigabyte(s)

gal – gallon

gas – gasoline/ natural gas

GM/ GMO – genetically modified (organism)

GPS – global positioning system

H – hydrogen

H&S – health and safety

ha – hectare

hash – hash sign (= pound sign)

hazmat – hazardous materials

HD(TV/ recorder) – high definition (television/ recorder)

HDD – hard disk drive

HDMI – high definition multimedia interface

He – helium

high spec – high specification

high vis (jacket) – high visibility (jacket)

hi-tech/ high tech – high technology

hp – horsepower

hr – hour(s)

HSE – Health and Safety Executive

HTML – hypertext markup language

HUD – head up display

Hz – hertz

I – iodine

I/O – input/ output (device)

IC – integrated circuit

ICT – information and communications technology

IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

IM – instant message/ instant messenger

in – inch

INFOSEC – information systems security

IoT – (the) internet of things

IP – intellectual property

IP (address) – internet protocol (address)

ISDN – integrated services digital network

ISP – internet service provider

IT – information technology

ITSO – International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation

J – joule

K – Kelvin

k – kilo- (as in “kW” for “kilowatts” and “kJ” for “kilojoules”)

K/ KB – kilobyte

k/ km – kilometre

kg/ kilo – kilogramme/ kilogram (not kilometre)

kph – kilometres per hour

kt – knot

kWh – kilowatt hour(s)

l – litre

lab – laboratory

(V/W)LAN – (virtual/ wireless) local area network

laptop – laptop computer

lb – pound (weight, not currency)

LCD – liquid crystal display

(O)LED – (organic) light emitting diode

LHS – left-hand side

Li – lithium

lino – linoleum

LNG – liquid natural gas

LSI – large-scale integrated (circuit)

LW (radio) – longwave (radio)

M – mega-

m – milli- (as in “mm” for “millimetres”, “mg” for “milligrams”, and “ml” for “millilitres”)

m/ M – million (as in “$15m”)

mail – email

math/ maths – mathematics

max – maximum

MB/ meg – megabyte(s)

MDF – medium-density fibreboard

meths – methylated spirits

MF – melamine formaldehyde (used in Formica)

mic/ mike – microphone

microwave – microwave oven

mil – millimetres/ million

min – minimum/ minute(s) (mainly written)

MIPS – million instructions per second

mobile – mobile phone

MoD – Ministry of Defence

mono – monaural

MOS – metal oxide semiconductor

MOX (fuel) – mixed oxide fuel (a kind of nuclear fuel)

mp3 – mp3 player/ mp3 file

mpg – miles per gallon

mph – miles per hour

MRI – magnetic resonance imaging

MSG – monosodium glutamate

MW – megawatts/ medium wave

n – nano

N – Newton

N – nitrogen

NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Ne – neon

Ni – nickel

NIST – National Institute of Standards and Technology

nm/ nmi – nautical mile

NSFW – not safe for work

O – oxygen

OA – office automation

OP – original poster

OS – operating system/ Ordinance Survey (map)

OSSN – originating stations serial number

OTS – off the shelf

oz – ounce(s)

P – peta- (as in “PB” for “petabytes”)

P – phosphorus

p – pico

PA – public address (system) (= Tannoy)

PAL – programmable array logic

PBX – private branch exchange

PC – personal computer

PCB – printed circuit board

PCM – pulse code modulation

(HD)PE – (high density) polyethylene

PET – polyethylene terephthalate

PFM – pulse frequency modulation

(P)PGA – (plastic) pin grid array

phone – telephone

PIN (number) – personal identification number

PP – polypropylene

PPI – parallel port interface

ppm – parts per million

prefab – prefabricated

psi – pounds per square inch

pt – pint

PTFE – polytetrafluoroethylene (= Teflon)

PVC – polyvinyl chloride

QA/ QC – quality assurance/ quality control

QR (code) – quick response code

quake – earthquake

r – radius

R&D – research and development

(D/S)RAM – (dynamic/ static) random access memory

remote – remote control

rep – (online) reputation

reverb – reverberation

revs – revolutions (per minute)

RFID – radio frequency identification

RGB – red green blue

RHS – right-hand side

ROM – read only memory

rpm – revolutions per minute

RRR/ the three Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle

rules and regs – rules and regulations

S – sulphur

SCSI – small computer system interface

(SD)SDI (standard definition) serial digital interface

SEO – search engine optimization

SFDR – spurious free dynamic range

short – short circuit

Si – silicon

sim – simulation

SIM (card) – subscriber identity module (card)

SIM (card) – subscriber identity module/ subscriber identification module

site – website

SMS – short message service

SNR – signal-to-noise ratio

speaker – loudspeaker

specs – specifications

spy cam – spy camera

sq… – square…

SQL – structured query language

SSD – solid state drive

SSI – small scale integration/ synchronous serial interface

SSR – solid state relay

st – stone (= 14lb)

stats – statistics

STEM – science technology engineering and maths

stereo – stereophonic

SW (radio) – shortwave (radio)

T – tera- (as in “TB” for “terabytes”)

tarp – tarpaulin

tech – technical/ technology

telecoms – telecommunications

teleconference – telephone conference

temp – temperature

Ti – titanium

trig – trigonometry

(CA)TV/ telly – (cable) television

U – uranium

UHF – ultra high frequency

UMTS – Universal Mobile Telecommunications System

url/ URL – uniform resource locator

USB (stick) – universal serial bus

USIM – universal subscriber identity module

USP – (unique) selling points

UV (light) – ultraviolet (light)

V – volts

VCR – video cassette recorder

VDU – video display unit

Ver. 1./ Ver. 2.0/ Ver… – version…

VHF – very high frequency

VHS- Video Home System

vid – video

video cam – video camera

vlog – video log/ video blog

vocoder – voice coder

VoIP – voice over internet protocol (e.g. Skype)

vol – volume (written abbreviation)

VPN – virtual private network

VR – virtual reality (literally meaning very nearly reality)

W – watt(s)

WAN – wide area network

wellies – wellington boots (= rubber boots/ galoshes)

www – worldwide web

wysiwyg – what you see is what you get

Y2K (bug) – year 2000 (bug)

yd – yard(s)

Copyright © 2018

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com

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