C
C C (s[=e]) 1. C is the third letter of the English alphabet. It is from the Latin letter C, which in old Latin represented the sounds of k, and g (in go); its original value being the latter. In Anglo-Saxon words, or Old English before the Norman Conquest, it always has the sound of k. The Latin C was the same letter as the Greek [Gamma], [gamma], and came from the Greek alphabet. The Greeks got it from the Ph[oe]nicians. The English name of C is from the Latin name ce, and was derived, probably, through the French. Etymologically C is related to g, h, k, q, s (and other sibilant sounds). Examples of these relations are in L. acutus, E. acute, ague; E. acrid, eager, vinegar; L. cornu, E. horn; E. cat, kitten; E. coy, quiet; L. circare, OF. cerchier, E. search. [1913 Webster]

Note: See Guide to Pronunciation, [sect][sect] 221-228. [1913 Webster]

2. (Mus.) (a) The keynote of the normal or ``natural'' scale, which has neither flats nor sharps in its signature; also, the third note of the relative minor scale of the same. (b) C after the clef is the mark of common time, in which each measure is a semibreve (four fourths or crotchets); for alla breve time it is written ?. (c) The ``C clef,'' a modification of the letter C, placed on any line of the staff, shows that line to be middle C. [1913 Webster]

3. As a numeral, C stands for Latin centum or 100, CC for 200, etc. [1913 Webster]

{C spring}, a spring in the form of the letter C. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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