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Abbreviations and Acronyms Research Guide: Home

A guide for persons who are seeking information on various legal and general abbreviations and acronyms.

This guide does not contain a comprehensive listing of all abbreviations and acronyms material available in the library or online but will provide some information on where persons can locate basic information to assist.

Persons will find below a list of Key Resources that can be found in the Law Library and Other Resources which provide links to websites.

Update Information

This Guide update history:

  • Published - April 12 2024 (HW)

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Key Resources

Index to Legal Citations and Abbreviations

Call number: K112 .R35 2008

The Index to Legal Citations and Abbreviations reveals the meaning of over 37,000 legal acronyms, abbreviations and terms in usage. These range from thousands of new additions to this edition to those in use for centuries, and cover the legal literature of the UK, the Commonwealth, Europe and the USA. It also includes abbreviations from areas frequently encountered by lawyers - government and public administration, police and probation services.

Bieber's Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations

Call number: K112 .B53 2001

A comprehensive list of abbreviations (for nearly 36,000 terms) used in legal encyclopedias, law dictionaries, law reporters, loose-leaf services, law reviews, legal treatises, legal reference books and citators. In addition to providing the meaning of abbreviations and acronyms, the reverse dictionary also enables the user to locate the abbreviations for titles, terms and names used in legal literature.


The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation

Call number: K114 .H38 2010

The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, is a guide for lawyers for constructing citations, covering the format of citations from a variety of legal sources, including court cases, statutes, books, periodicals, electronic media, and international documents.

World Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations

Call number: K112 .K38 1991

The purpose of this World Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations is to enable the reader of foreign law and legal literature to ascertain the precise meaning of abbreviations and acronyms as they appear in the material which he or she is studying. This dictionary is not intended as a legal citation guide.

Black's Law Dictionary

Call number: K120 .B54 2004

Features more than ten thousand legal terms and includes a dictionary guide and the complete United States Constitution.

Online version: Black's Law Dictionary

Guide to Foreign and International Legal Citations

Call number: K114 .G85 2009

Guide to Foreign and International Legal Citations is the most comprehensive source for international citations rules. Including 45 country citation systems, as well as citation rules for international organizations, tribunals, and treaties, the updated Second Edition offers updated and expanded coverage. The only reference that focuses entirely on international citation, and easy-to-use page format logical three-part organization: Country Citation Guides; Citation Guides for International Organizations  and Related Tribunals; Citation Guides for International and Regional Tribunals.

Modern Dictionary for the Legal Profession

Call number: K120 .B49 2001

Modern Dictionary for the Legal Profession is an extensive compendium of terms and their definitions for use by attorneys, law students, paralegals, judges, legal secretaries, and others connected with the legal profession. Unlike the traditional law dictionaries such as Black's, Ballantine's, or Bouvier's that expound legal terms and concepts, the first dictionary that focuses on terms from a wide variety of fields, which attorneys and other members of the legal profession are apt to come in contact with, but for which no ready source of explanation is currently available.

This book presents nearly 10,000 modern terms and concepts from dozens of professions and careers and international organizations, both private and governmental. 

Other Resources

The world's largest and most comprehensive directory and search engine for acronyms, abbreviations and initialisms on the Internet. holds hundreds of thousands of entries organized by a large variety of categories from computing and the Web to governmental, medicine and business and it is maintained and expanded by a large community of passionate editors.


With more than 1,000,000 human-edited definitions, Acronym Finder is the world's largest and most comprehensive dictionary of acronyms, abbreviations, and initialisms. Combined with the Acronym Attic, Acronym Finder contains more than 5 million acronyms and abbreviations.


Free Online Legal Dictionary, featuring Black’s Law Dictionary, 2nd Ed. The Law Dictionary is composed of two main sections: Legal Information and the Legal Dictionary. 


This database allows you to search for the meaning of abbreviations for English language legal publications, from the British Isles, the Commonwealth and the United States, including those covering international and comparative law. A wide selection of major foreign language law publications is also included. Publications from over 295 jurisdictions are featured in the Index. The database mainly covers law reports and law periodicals but some other legal publications are also included. The Index is under continuous development with new abbreviations and titles being added on a regular basis.


This guide lists acronyms and abbreviations commonly used by the United States federal government. Each acronym is defined and links to the home page (or best alternative) of the identified department, agency, office, program or publication.


LexisNexis uses 'inhouse' abbreviations for law reports and journals on its platform. You can also find abbreviations by publication.


The McGill Guide was developed to standardize Canadian legal citation and is the authoritative source for legal citation in Canada. Access to this library guide is provided by the University of Calgary.


This guide is created and curated by the Monash University Law Library, the guide lists legal abbreviations for Commonwealth and international law reports, law journals, legal organisations, courts, etc.


The University of Chicago Manual of Legal Citation (or the "Maroonbook") is the official citation guide of The University of Chicago Law Review and has been used by other journals. This "competitor" of the Bluebook strives to provide a simpler citation method for legal scholarship. The Maroonbook was a response for a simpler system of legal citation.