A A (named [=a] in the English, and most commonly ["a] in other languages). The first letter of the English and of many other alphabets. The capital A of the alphabets of Middle and Western Europe, as also the small letter (a), besides the forms in Italic, black letter, etc., are all descended from the old Latin A, which was borrowed from the Greek {Alpha}, of the same form; and this was made from the first letter (?) of the Ph[oe]nician alphabet, the equivalent of the Hebrew Aleph, and itself from the Egyptian origin. The Aleph was a consonant letter, with a guttural breath sound that was not an element of Greek articulation; and the Greeks took it to represent their vowel Alpha with the ["a] sound, the Ph[oe]nician alphabet having no vowel symbols. [1913 Webster] This letter, in English, is used for several different vowel sounds. See Guide to pronunciation, [sect][sect] 43-74. The regular long a, as in fate, etc., is a comparatively modern sound, and has taken the place of what, till about the early part of the 17th century, was a sound of the quality of ["a] (as in far). [1913 Webster]

2. (Mus.) The name of the sixth tone in the model major scale (that in C), or the first tone of the minor scale, which is named after it the scale in A minor. The second string of the violin is tuned to the A in the treble staff. -- A sharp (A[sharp]) is the name of a musical tone intermediate between A and B. -- A flat (A[flat]) is the name of a tone intermediate between A and G. [1913 Webster]

{A per se} (L. per se by itself), one pre["e]minent; a nonesuch. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

O fair Creseide, the flower and A per se Of Troy and Greece. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • A — ([.a] emph. [=a]). 1. [Shortened form of an. AS. [=a]n one. See {One}.] An adjective, commonly called the indefinite article, and signifying one or any, but less emphatically. At a birth ; In a word ; At a blow . Shak. Note: It is placed before… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A — ([.a]), prep. [Abbreviated form of an (AS. on). See {On}.] 1. In; on; at; by. [Obs.] A God s name. Torn a pieces. Stand a tiptoe. A Sundays Shak. Wit that men have now a days. Chaucer. Set them a work. Robynson (More s Utopia). [1913 Webster] 2.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A- — A, as a prefix to English words, is derived from various sources. (1) It frequently signifies on or in (from an, a forms of AS. on), denoting a state, as in afoot, on foot, abed, amiss, asleep, aground, aloft, away (AS. onweg), and analogically,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A — [From AS. of off, from. See {Of}.] Of. [Obs.] The name of John a Gaunt. What time a day is it ? Shak. It s six a clock. B. Jonson. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A — A barbarous corruption of have, of he, and sometimes of it and of they. So would I a done A brushes his hat. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A — An expletive, void of sense, to fill up the meter [1913 Webster] A merry heart goes all the day, Your sad tires in a mile a. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • a — I. noun (plural a s or as) Usage: often capitalized, often attributive Date: before 12th century 1. a. the 1st letter of the English alphabet b. a graphic representation of this letter c. a speech counterpart of orthographic a 2. the sixth tone… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • A — s. m. La première lettre de notre alphabet, et la première des voyelles. La lettre A. Un grand A. Un petit a. Un A majuscule. Un a romain. Un a italique. Des a mal formés. La voyelle A. A est long dans Blâme. A est bref dans Glace. A, dans les… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

  • À — préposition Lorsque à précède l’article masculin suivi d’une consonne ou d’un h aspiré, il se contracte en au. Il fait au pluriel aux. Il exprime cinq rapports différents : 1° Possession; 2° Tendance, direction vers un lieu, vers un objet; 3°… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)

  • A — The letter A is the first letter in the Latin alphabet. Its name in English is a [ a , Merriam Webster s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged, (1993)] (pronEng|eɪ), plural A s, A s, a s, or a s . [ Merriam… …   Wikipedia

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