noun (used with a plural verb)

  1. Also ABC. the alphabet.
  2. the basic skills of spelling, reading, and writing: learning the ABC’s in the early grades of school.
  3. Also ABC. the basic or elementary facts, principles, etc., of a subject: the ABC’s of electricity.

noun, plural ABC’s, ABCs.

  1. ABC’s(defs 1, 3).

  1. Trademark. American Broadcasting Companies: a television and radio network.
  2. atomic, biological, and chemical: ABC warfare.


  1. (plural in US) the rudiments of a subject
  2. an alphabetical guide to a subject
  3. (often plural in US) the alphabet

abbreviation for

  1. (formerly, of weapons or warfare) atomic, biological, and chemical
  2. Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  3. American Broadcasting Company
  4. Audit Bureau of Circulation
  5. Australian Australian-born Chinese: a person with Chinese parents, born and raised in Australia
  6. US American-born Chinese: a person with Chinese parents, born and raised in the US
  7. British acceptable behaviour contract: a voluntary written agreement between someone who has been involved in anti-social behaviour and a local agency such as a housing association, council, or police

“the alphabet,” late 13c., abece. Sense “rudiments or fundamentals (of a subject)” is from late 14c. From 1944 (in a “Billboard” headline) as a shortening of American Broadcasting Company. Related: ABCs.

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