A
A 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. In process of; in the act of; into; to; -- used with verbal substantives in -ing which begin with a consonant. This is a shortened form of the preposition an (which was used before the vowel sound); as in a hunting, a building, a begging. ``Jacob, when he was a dying'' --Heb. xi. 21. ``We'll a birding together.'' `` It was a doing.'' --Shak. ``He burst out a laughing.'' --Macaulay.

Note: The hyphen may be used to connect a with the verbal substantive (as, a-hunting, a-building) or the words may be written separately. This form of expression is now for the most part obsolete, the a being omitted and the verbal substantive treated as a participle. [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

  • Ä — or ä , is a character which represents either a letter from several extended Latin alphabets, or the letter A with umlaut or diaeresis. As an independent letter The letter Ä occurs in the Swedish, Finnish, Estonian, and Slovak alphabets, where i …   Wikipedia

  • 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… …   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)

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