An example of when the word an should be used is in front of the word honorary.
- one; one sort of: to bake an apple pie
- any one: pick an apple from the tree
Origin of anweakened variant, variety of one from Old English an, the numeral one; the older and fuller form of a
- and: an informal spelling
- Archaic if
Origin of anMiddle English from and, and
Origin of an.Classical Latin anno
- (one) belonging to or having some relation to: diocesan
- (one) born in or living in: Mexican
- (one) believing in or following: Lutheran
- -ician: used to form nouns only
Origin of -anFrench -ain, -en from Classical Latin -anus, of, belonging to; also directly from Classical Latin
Origin of anMiddle English from Old English ān one ; see oi-no- in Indo-European roots.Word History: The forms of the indefinite article are good examples of what can happen to a word when it becomes habitually pronounced without stress. An is in fact a weakened form of one; both an and one come from Old English ān, “one.” In early Middle English, besides representing the cardinal numeral “one,” ān developed the special function of indefinite article, and in this role the word was ordinarily pronounced with very little or no stress. Sound changes that affected unstressed syllables elsewhere in the language affected it also. First, the vowel was shortened and eventually reduced to a schwa (ə). Second, the n was lost before consonants. This loss of n affected some other words as well; it explains why English has both my and mine, thy and thine. Originally these were doublets just like a and an, with mine and thine occurring only before vowels, as in Ben Jonson's famous line “Drink to me only with thine eyes.” By the time of Modern English, though, my and thy had replaced mine and thine when used before nouns (that is, when not used predicatively, as in This book is mine ), just as some varieties of Modern English use a even before vowels ( a apple ).
Origin of anMiddle English short for and and from Old English; see and .
- anno (in the year)
- ante (before)
- Of, relating to, or resembling: brachyuran.
- One relating to, belonging to, or resembling: librarian.
Origin of -anMiddle English from Old French from Latin -ānus adj. and n. suff
- Unsaturated carbon compound: furan.
- Anhydride of a carbohydrate: dextran.
Origin of -anAlteration of -ane
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- She'll be ridin' an' comin' up soon. The smart girl an' the silly boy.