[ə;eɪ] or [e]


(noun.) the blood group whose red cells carry the A antigen.

(noun.) the 1st letter of the Roman alphabet.

Typist: Weldon--From WordNet


(-) 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 Phoenician 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 Phoenician alphabet having no vowel symbols.

(-) 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/) is the name of a musical tone intermediate between A and B. -- A flat (A/) is the name of a tone intermediate between A and G.

(-) An adjective, commonly called the indefinite article, and signifying one or any, but less emphatically.

(-) In each; to or for each; as, "twenty leagues a day", "a hundred pounds a year", "a dollar a yard", etc.

(prep.) In; on; at; by.

(prep.) 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.

(-) Of.

(-) A barbarous corruption of have, of he, and sometimes of it and of they.

(-) An expletive, void of sense, to fill up the meter

Checker: Willa


its corresponding symbol standing first also in many other alphabets derived from the Phœnician. It originated in the hieroglyphic picture of an eagle (Old Egyptian ahom) the cursive hieratic form of which was the original of the Phœnician aleph an ox from a fancied resemblance to its head and horns.—A as a note in music is the major sixth of the scale of C; A1 the symbol by which first-class vessels are classed in Lloyd's Register of British and Foreign Shipping hence first-rate.

prep. derived from the old prep. on and still used as a prefix in afoot afield apart asleep nowadays twice-a-day; also with verbal nouns as a-building to be a-doing to set a-going. It is now admitted only colloquially.

as in quotha (Shak.) 'A babbled of green fields.'—A usually written a' Scotch for all; A a form of the L. prep. ab from of used before consonants as in Thomas Kempis Thomas Becket &c.

a broken-down form of An and used before words beginning with the sound of a consonant.

Edited by Lenore


Editor: Vicky


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