(lower case, upper case A)
- The first letter of the English alphabet, called a and written in the Latin script.
In English, the letter a usually denotes the near-open front unrounded vowel (IPA: /æ/), as in pad, the open back unrounded vowel (IPA: /ɑː/) as in father, or, followed by another vowel, the diphthong IPA: /eɪ/, as in ace.
a is the third-most common letter in English.
(plural a's or as or aes)
- The name of the Latin script letter A/a.
From Middle English and Old English lower case letter a and split of Middle English and Old English lower case letter æ.
- Old English lower case letter a from 7th century replacement by Latin lower case letter a of the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc letter ᚪ (a, “āc”), derived from Runic letter ᚫ (a, “Ansuz”).
- Old English lower case letter æ from 7th century replacement by Latin lower case ligature æ of the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc letter ᚫ (æ, “æsc”), also derived from Runic letter ᚫ (a, “Ansuz”).
- One; any indefinite example of; used to denote a singular item of a group. [First attested prior to 1150]
- There was a man here looking for you yesterday.
- Used in conjunction with the adjectives score, dozen, hundred, thousand, and million, as a function word.
- I've seen it happen a hundred times.
- One certain or particular; any single. [First attested between around 1150 to 1350]
- We've received an interesting letter from a Mrs. Miggins of London.
- The same; one. [16th Century]
- We are of a mind on matters of morals.
- Any, every; used before a noun which has become modified to limit its scope; also used with a negative to indicate not a single one.
- A man who dies intestate leaves his children troubles and difficulties.
- He fell all that way, and hasn't a bump on his head?
- Used before plural nouns modified by few, good many, couple, great many, etc.
- Someone or something like; similar to; Used before a proper noun to create an example out of it.
- The center of the village was becoming a Times Square.
- The article an is used before vowel sounds, and a before consonant sounds.
Middle English, from Old English ān (“one, a, lone, sole”). The "n" was gradually lost before consonants in almost all dialects by the 15th century.
- (archaic) To do with position or direction; In, on, at, by, towards, onto. [First attested before 1150]
- Stand a tiptoe.
- To do with separation; In, into. [First attested before 1150]
- Torn a pieces.
- To do with time; Each, per, in, on, by. [First attested before 1150]
- I brush my teeth twice a day.
- To do with status; In. [First attested before 1150]
- (archaic) To do with process, with a passive verb; In the course of, experiencing. [First attested before 1150]
- (archaic) To do with an action, an active verb; Engaged in. [16th century]
- (archaic) To do with an action/movement; To, into. [16th century]
- (position, direction): Can also be attached without a hyphen, as aback, ahorse, afoot. See a-
- (separation): Can also be attached without hyphen, as asunder. See a-
- (status): Can also be attached without hyphen, as afloat, awake. See a-.
- (process): Can also be attached with or without hyphen, as a-changing
- From Middle English a, o, from Old English a-, an, on.
- Unstressed form of on.
(third-person singular simple present -, present participle -, simple past and past participle -)
- (archaic or slang) Have. [between 1150 and 1350, continued in some use until 1650; used again after 1950]
- I'd a come, if you'd a asked
- 1604 (facsimile printed between 1830 and 1910), William Shakespeare, Hamlet:
- So would I a done by yonder ſunne
- And thou hadſt not come to my bed.
- Now often attached to preceding auxiliary verb. See -a.
From Middle English a, ha contraction of have, or haven
- 1874 Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd (Barnes & Noble Classics reprint [reset], 2005, chapter 5, page 117; from "Hardy's 1912 Wessex edition"):
- "And how Farmer James would cuss, and call thee a fool, wouldn't he, Joseph, when 'a seed his name looking so inside-out-like?" continued Matthew Moon, with feeling. / "Ay — 'a would," said Joseph meekly.
- (he): From Middle English a, ha (“he”), unstressed variant of he, from Old English hē.
- (she): From Middle English a, ha, unstressed variant of heo, hie, hi, from Old English hēo, hīo, hī feminine of hē (“he”).
- (they): From Middle English a, ha, unstressed variant of hie, hi, from Old English hīe, hī plural of hē (“he”).
- (it): From Middle English a, ha, unstressed variant of he, heo, from Old English hit (“it”).
- (I): From Middle English variant of the word I.
- A meaningless syllable; ah.
Variant spelling of ah.
- (archaic, slang) Of.
- The name of John a Gaunt.
- Often attached without a hyphen to preceding word.
From Middle English, contraction of of.
- (chiefly Scotland) All. [First attested from 1350 to 1470.]
From Middle English (Northern dialect) aw, alteration of all.
- Distance from leading edge to aerodynamic center.
- specific absorption coefficient
- specific rotation
- allele (recessive)
(upper case, lower case a)
- The first letter of the English alphabet, called a and written in the Latin script.
- Apple starts with A.
(upper case, lower case a)
- The ordinal number first, derived from this letter of the English alphabet, called a and written in the Latin script.
- The item A is "foods", the item B is "drinks".
From Middle English and Old English upper case letter A and split of Middle English and Old English upper case letter Æ.
- Old English upper case letter A from 7th century replacement by Latin upper case letter A of the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc letter ᚪ (a, “āc”), derived from Runic letter ᚫ (a, “Ansuz”).
- Old English upper case letter Æ from 7th century replacement by Latin upper case ligature Æ of the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc letter ᚫ (æ, “æsc”), also derived from Runic letter ᚫ (a, “Ansuz”).
- The highest rank on any of various scales that assign letters.
- We assign each item inspected a rating from A through G, depending on various factors.
- Bond rating
- (education) The highest letter grade assigned (disregarding plusses and minuses).
- I was so happy to get an A on that test.
- (music) A tone three fifths above C in the cycle of fifths; the sixth tone of the C major scale; the first note of the minor scale of A minor; the reference tone that occurs at exactly 440 Hz; the printed or written note A; the scale with A as its keynote.
- Orchestras traditionally tune to a concert A.
- (medicine) A blood type that has a specific antigen that aggravates the immune response in people with type B antigen in their blood. They may receive blood from type A or type O, but cannot receive blood from AB or B.
- My blood type is A negative.
- (chemistry) Mass number.
- (logic) A universal affirmative suggestion.
- acoustic source
- actual weight of an aircraft
- (historical) adulterer, adulteress
- Alaska Steamship Company
- Alcoa Steamship Company
- allele dominant
- alveolar gas
- American Stock Exchange
- ammunition examiner
- Anchor Line
- aspect ratio
- Assembly Bill
- Smallest of the brassiere cup sizes.
- Chemical activity.
- first van der Waals constant
- Fraunhofer line for oxygen
- (aviation) hail
- (in newspaper stock listings) includes extras
- linear acceleration
- mean sound absorption coefficient
- Shoe size narrower than B
- (baseball) Single A league, one of the lowest professional leagues.
- Total acidity.
- Adult; as used in film rating
- (physics) angstrom
- (sports) An assist
- (weaponry) atom; atomic
- (highest rank, grade, music): From the initial position of the letter A in the English alphabet.
- (blood type): From A antigen
- (vehicle-distinguishing signs): From Australia
- (archaic) Alternative form of a (pronoun)
- (archaic) Alternative form of a (verb)
- Eye dialect spelling of have.
- This is only for the uses of have as an auxiliary verb, and only following could, should, would, or forms of would such as he'd.
- An ASCII representation of the enclosed capital A or circle-A, Ⓐ.
- plural form of -um
- plural form of -on
- Because the regular pluralization in English involves adding -s or -es, English words derived from a Latin where the Latin would pluralize from -on or -um to -a do not always do so in English. Usage of -a instead of -s differs between words: sometimes the two are interchangeable (e.g. memorandums/memoranda, polyhedrons/polyhedra), sometimes one is far more common than the other (e.g. neurons over neura, automata over automatons), and sometimes one is completely absent from usage (e.g. bacteria over bacteriums, dendrons over dendra)
From the homographic case endings of the nominative, accusative, and vocative forms of numerous Latin neuter second declension nouns.
- (Geordie) Same as -er in Standard English.
- (slang) Used to replace -er in nouns.
Possibly due to the propensity in some non-rhotic dialects to pronounce words ending in -er as if they ended in an -a.
(plural -ae or -æ)
- Marks singular nouns, with a foundation in Greek or Latin, often implying femininity, especially when contrasted with words terminating in -us.
Representing the nominative singular case ending of Latin first-declension feminine nouns.
- Changes an element or substance into an oxide.
- (slang) Alternative form of -'ve.
Shortened version of verb have.
- Marks nouns, with a foundation in Italian, Spanish, or Portuguese, implying femininity.
Representing Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish feminine nouns.
- Added for metrical reasons to poetry and verse
Added to lines of poetry and verse to maintain metrics.
- (slang) clitic form of o'
Shortened version of preposition of.
- (informal) To.
Shortened version of verb to.
- -mab is the base suffix common to all monoclonal antibodies
Various, often difficult to determine. Used in Middle English since 14th century.
Sometimes borrowed from French à (“(various prepositions)”), as in vis-à-vis, sometimes reduced from of. Other words may be established on these models, as in jack-a-napes. May be spelled differently, with same schwa pronunciation, as in o' or Cockney (from Cockeney); other early form in ragamuffin and cock-a-leekie.
- (slang) Australian dollar
Noun See also: A
(plural A*'s or A*s)
- An academic grade, higher than A. Where it is used, it is often the best class of result.
- (computer science) A best-first graph search algorithm for finding a lowest-cost path to a goal.
Capital Roman A has been used in place of capital Greek Α (alpha).
- Alternative form of A-.
It is more common to type this term spelled with the hyphen-minus sign (-).See the main entry, that is spelled with that symbol: A-. This entry in particular is an alternative form spelled with the minus sign (−).
- A musical note that lies a chromatic semitone above A and a diatonic semitone below B, thus being enharmonic to B♭; the eleventh semitone of the solfege; when calculated in equal temperament with a reference of A above middle C as 440 hertz, it has a frequency of approximately 466.164 Hz.
- (computing) The ASCII control character start of header in caret notation.
- Alternative spelling of a (all). [First attested from 1350 to 1470.]
- Euphemistic spelling of ass.
- (metrology) Symbol for the attoohm, an SI unit of electrical resistance equal to 10−18 ohms.
- (archaic) Alternative form of Aeaea.