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initialize (v.)

"to make ready for operation," 1957, from initial (adj.) + -ize. The same formation had been used earlier to mean "use initials instead of a name" (1837); "designate by initials" (1833). Related: Initialized; initializing; initialization (1957 in the modern sense).

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Definitions of initialize from WordNet

initialize (v.)
assign an initial value to a computer program;
Synonyms: initialise
initialize (v.)
divide (a disk) into marked sectors so that it may store data;
Synonyms: format / initialise
From wordnet.princeton.edu