ab initio

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

ab init

Etymology[edit]

From Latin ab (from) + initiō, ablative singular of initium (beginning).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌæb ɪˈnɪʃ.i.oʊ/, /ˌæb əˈnɪt.i.oʊ/, /ˌɑb əˈnɪt.i.oʊ/

Adverb[edit]

ab initio

  1. (law) From the time when a legal document comes into force. [Early 17th century.][1]
  2. (sciences) Calculated from first principles, i.e. from basic laws without any further additional assumptions.
    • 1983, Monty Python, The meaning of life, at about 1h 15':
      [] this soul does not exist ab initio, as orthodox Christianity teaches; it has to be brought into existence by a process of guided self-observation. However, this is rarely achieved, owing to man's unique ability to be distracted from spiritual matters by everyday trivia.
  3. (of an academic course) Taken with no prior qualifications.

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], ISBN 978-0-19-860575-7), page 4