Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


A

A

(named ā in the English, and most commonly ä 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 ([GREEK]) of the Phœnician 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 ä sound, the Phœnician alphabet having no vowel symbols.
This letter, in English, is used for several different vowel sounds. See Guide to pronunciation, §§ 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 ä (as in far ).
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♯) 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.
A per se
(L.
per se
by itself)
,
one preëminent; a nonesuch.
[Obs.]
O fair Creseide, the flower and
A per se

Of Troy and Greece.
Chaucer.

A

(ȧ emph. ā)
.
1.
[Shortened form of
an
. AS. ān 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.
It is placed before nouns of the singular number denoting an individual object, or a quality individualized, before collective nouns, and also before plural nouns when the adjective few or the phrase great many or good many is interposed;
as,
a
dog,
a
house,
a
man;
a
color;
a
sweetness;
a
hundred,
a
fleet,
a
regiment;
a
few persons,
a
great many days.
It is used for an, for the sake of euphony, before words beginning with a consonant sound [for exception of certain words beginning with h, see
An
];
as, a table,
a woman
,
a
year,
a
unit,
a
eulogy,
a
ewe,
a
oneness, such
a
one, etc.
Formally an was used both before vowels and consonants.
2.
[Originally the preposition
a
(
an
,
on
).]
In each; to or for each;
as, “twenty leagues
a
day”, “a hundred pounds
a
year”, “a dollar
a
yard”, etc.

A

(ȧ)
,
p
rep.
[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).
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.
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.

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.

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.

A

.
An expletive, void of sense, to fill up the meter
A merry heart goes all the day,
Your sad tires in a mile-
a
.
Shakespeare

Webster 1828 Edition


A

A

is the first letter of the Alphabet in most of the known languages of the earth; in the Ethiopic, however it is the thirteenth, and in the Runic the tenth. It is naturally the first letter, because it represents the first vocal sound naturally formed by the human organs; being the sound uttered with a mere opening of the mouth without constraint, and without any effort to alter the natural position or configuration of the lips. The A has been proven to be the first natural vocal sound, and entitled to the first place in alphabets.

A

has in English, three sounds; the long or slender, as in place, fate; the broad, as in wall, fall, which is shortened in salt, what; and the open, as in father, glass, which is shortened in rather, fancy. Its primitive sound was probably aw. A is also an abbreviation used before words beginning with an articulation; as a table, instead of an table, or one table. This is a modern change.
This letter serves as a prefix to many English words, as in asleep; awake; afoot; aground; agoing. In some cases, this is a contraction of Teutonic ge, as in asleep, aware, from the Saxon geslapan, to sleep, to beware. Sometimes it is a corruption of the Saxon on, as again from ongean , awake from onwacian to watch or wake. Before participles, it may be a contraction of the Celtic ag, the sign of the participle of the present tense; as, ag-radh, saying; a saying, a going. Or this may be a contraction of on, or what is equally probable, it may have proceeded from a mere accidental sound produced by negligent utterance. In some words, a may be a contraction of at, of, in, to, or an. In some words of Greek original, a is privative, giving to them a negative sense, as in anonymous.

A

mong the ancients, A was a numeral denoting 500, and with a dash A 5000. In the Julian Calendar, A is the first of the seven dominical letters.

A

mong logicians, A, as an abbreviation, stands for a universal affirmative proposition. A asserts; E denies. Thus in barbara, a thrice repeated denotes so many of the propositions to be universal.
The Romans used A to signify a negative or dissent in giving their votes; A standing for antiquo, I oppose or object to the proposed law. Opposed to this letter were U R, uti rogas, be it as you desire - the words used to express assent to a proposition. These letters were marked on wooden ballots, and each voter had an affirmative and a negative put into his hands, one of which at pleasure he gave as his vote, - In criminal trials, A stood for absolvo, I acquit, C for condemno, I condemn; and N L for non liquet, it is not evident; and the judges voted by ballots this marked. In inscriptions, A stands for Augustus; or for ager, aiunt, , aurum, argentum, &c.

A

is also used for anno, or ante; as in Anno Domini, the year of our Lord; anno mundi, the year of the world; ante meridiem, before noon, and for arts, in artium magister, master of arts.
In algebra, a and first letters of the alphabet represent known quantities - the last letters are sometimes used to represent unknown quantities.
music, A is the nominal of the sixth note in the natural diatonic scale - called by Guido la. It is also the name of one of the two natural moods; and it is the open note of the 2d string of the violin, by which the other strings are tuned and regulated.
In pharmacy, a or aa, abbreviations of the Greek ana, signify of each separately, or that the things mentioned should be taken in quantities of the same weight or measure.
In chimistry, A A A stand for amalgama, or amalgamation.
In commerce, A stands for accepted, as in case of a bill of exchange. Merchants also number their books by the letters - A,B,C, instead of figures. Public officers number their exhibits in the same manner; as the document A, or B.

A

lpha and Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek Alphabet, are used in Scripture for the beginning and end - representative of Christ.
In mathematics, letters are used as representatives of numbers, lines, angles and quantities. In arguments, letters are substituted for persons, in cases supposed, or stated for illustration, as A contracts with B to deliver property to D. - In the English phraseology "a landlord as a hundred a year," " the sum amounted to ten dollars a man," a is merely the adjective one, and this mode of expression is idiomatic; a hundred in a year; ten dollars to a man.

Definition 2022


À

À

À U+00C0, À
LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A WITH GRAVE
Composition: A [U+0041] + ̀ [U+0300]
¿
[U+00BF]
Latin-1 Supplement Á
[U+00C1]

Translingual

Letter

À upper case (lower case à)

  1. The letter A with a grave accent.

See also


French

Letter

À (upper case, lower case à)

  1. capital of à

à

à

à U+00E0, à
LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH GRAVE
Composition: a [U+0061] + ̀ [U+0300]
ß
[U+00DF]
Latin-1 Supplement á
[U+00E1]
See also: Appendix:Variations of "a"

Translingual

Letter

à lower case (upper case À)

  1. The letter a with a grave accent.

See also


Danish

Alternative forms

Preposition

à (unofficial but common)

  1. of, of...each, each containing
  2. at
  3. to, or

Dutch

Pronunciation

Etymology

From French à.

Preposition

à

  1. indicates an approximate number:
    ‘Kook 2 à 3 aardappelen per persoon.’ = Boil 2 or/to 3 potatoes per person.
  2. indicates the price etc. per piece:
    ‘10 blikjes à €0,06 is €0,60 in totaal.’ = 10 cans at €0.06 a piece is €0.60 in total.

French

Etymology

From Old French a, from Latin ad, from Proto-Indo-European *ád (near; at).

Pronunciation

  • (FR) IPA(key): /a/
  • à (France, Paris) IPA(key): [a]
  • Rhymes: -a

Letter

à (lower case, upper case À)

  1. A with grave accent, a letter used in French mostly to distinguish some homographs and in transliteration.

Usage notes

  • Use of accents on capital letters is variable. European usage is sometimes to omit accents. This is partly due to the keyboard layout used in France. Quebec usage is to put accents on capitals.

Preposition

à

  1. to (destination)
    Je vais à Paris. -- I am going to Paris.
    aller au bout - go to the end / go all the way
  2. to (until)
    Le spectacle sera de 18h à 21h. -- The show will be from 6pm to 9 pm.
  3. on the, to (some directions)
    tournez à gauche ! - turn [to the] left!
    tournez à droite ! - turn [to the] right
    Le vent vire au nord. - The wind turns north.
    L'école est à gauche. - The school is on the left.
  4. at (said of a particular time)
    Je pars à cinq heures. -- I am leaving at five.
    à dix heures et quart - at quarter past ten
  5. at, in, on (said of a particular place)
    à la maison - at home
    à l'hôtel - at the hotel
    au bar - in the bar
    au bois - in the woods
    J'habite à trois kilomètres d'ici.- I live three kilometers from here.
  6. of (belonging to)
    C'est un ami à moi. -- This is a friend of mine.
    Cette voiture est à John. -- This is John's car.
    (nonstandard) le chien à Marie -- Mary's dog
  7. till, until (used in farewells)
    Salut, à demain. -- Bye, till tomorrow/Bye, see you tomorrow
    à plus tard - see you later
  8. (cooking) cooked in or with
    Steak au poivre -- Steak with pepper sauce
  9. Used to make compound nouns to state what something is used for
    moulin à poivre - pepper mill
    sac à dos - backpack
    boite à musique - music box
  10. (before an infinitive) to (used to express something not completed)
    Il y a de nombreuses choses à faire. - There are many things to do.
    Il reste deux tâches à finir. - There are two things left to finish.
    Il y a de la bière à boire. - There's some beer to drink.
    l'équipe à battre - the team to beat
  11. Used to describe a part of something, often translated into English as a compound adjective
    un animal à quatre pattes - a four-legged animal
    une femme au visage pâle - a pale-faced woman
    un homme à longue barbe - a long-bearded man OR a man with a long beard
    une chemise à manches courtes - a short-sleeved shirt
    une maison aux murs de brique - a brick-walled house / a house with brick walls
  12. by
    peu à peu - bit by bit
    minute à minute - minute by minute
    jour à jour - day by day
  13. or, to (used to express an approximate number)
    six à sept personnes - six or seven people
    vingt à trente ans - twenty/thirty years
    tous les cinq à six ans - every five or six years
  14. Used to indicate the recipient of certain phrasal verb.
    mettre le feu à - to set fire to
    clouer le bec à - to shut (someone) up
    donner la chasse à - to give chase to
    • 1837, Louis Viardot, L’Ingénieux Hidalgo Don Quichotte de la Manche, volume 1, translation of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Chapter XL:
      Bien que la faim et le dénûment nous tourmentassent quelquefois, et même à peu près toujours, rien ne nous causait autant de tourment que d’être témoins des cruautés inouïes que mon maître exerçait sur les chrétiens. Chaque jour il en faisait pendre quelqu’un; on empalait celui-là, on coupait les oreilles à celui-ci [] .
      Even though hunger and destitution tormented us sometimes, and even almost always, nothing caused us as much torment as being witnesses to the unheard-of cruelties that my master exercised on the Christians. Every day, he made someone hang; they impaled that one, they cut the ears off of this one [] .

Derived terms

When followed by a definite article, à is combined with the article to give the following combined forms:

à + article Combined form
à + le au
à + la à la
à + l' à l'
à + les aux

Usage notes

  • Expresses a report/ratio of place (to), time (at), possession (of or 's), means, manner, price.
  • Introduces a complement of indirect object or a complement of attribution, a complement of the name or adjective.
  • Some intransitive verbs in French use à before the indirect object, e.g. réussir à, jouer à. In these cases, the à is not translated into English.

German

Etymology

From French.

Preposition

à

  1. (very dated) at (a specified price or rate of exchange)

Italian

Verb

à

  1. Obsolete spelling of ha, third-person singular present indicative of avere

Ladin

Verb

à

  1. third-person singular present indicative of avei - has
  2. third-person plural present indicative of avei - have

Mandarin

Romanization

à (Zhuyin ㄚˋ)

  1. Pinyin transcription of
  2. Pinyin transcription of

Middle French

Preposition

à

  1. (16th century onwards) Alternative form of a, at; to
    • 1537, Cicero (original author), Epistres familiaires traduictz de latin en francois et nouvellement imprimez link
      on les vend à Paris
      They are being sold in Paris

Norman

Etymology

From Latin ad.

Preposition

à

  1. to, at

Noun

à m (plural às)

  1. at sign

Synonyms


Portuguese

Alternative forms

  • á (obsolete)
  • â (obsolete)

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /a/
  • Rhymes: -a

Contraction

à

  1. Contraction of a a (to/at the).
    • 2000, Lya Wyler (translator), J. K. Rowling (English author), Harry Potter e a Câmara Secreta (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets), Rocco, page 217:
      Quando tiver uma dúvida, vá à biblioteca.
      When you are in doubt, go to the library.
    Vou à praia.
    I’m going to the beach.

Quotations

For usage examples of this term, see Citations:ao.

Preposition

à

  1. Misspelling of a.
  2. Short for à moda de.

Scottish Gaelic

Etymology

From Old Irish ass, a (out of), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁eǵʰs. Cognate of Latin ex-. Compare Irish as.

Preposition

à

  1. from

Synonyms

Usage notes

  • Before the definite article the form às is used instead.

Derived terms

  • The following prepositional pronouns:
Person Number Prepositional pronoun Prepositional pronoun (emphatic)
Singular 1st asam asamsa
2nd asad asadsa
3rd m às às-san
3rd f aiste aistese
Plural 1st asainn asainne
2nd asaibh asaibhse
3rd asta astasan

References

  • Faclair Gàidhlig Dwelly Air Loidhne, Dwelly, Edward (1911), Faclair Gàidhlig gu Beurla le Dealbhan/The Illustrated [Scottish] Gaelic-English Dictionary (10th ed.), Edinburgh: Birlinn Limited, ISBN 0 901771 92 9
  • 7 a” in Dictionary of the Irish Language, Royal Irish Academy, 1913–76.

Spanish

Preposition

à

  1. Obsolete spelling of a

Swedish

Preposition

à

  1. ... to ...
    2 à 3 kg
    2 to 3 kilograms
  2. @, at, each
    2 st à 1 kr
    2 pieces at 1 krona each

References


Vietnamese

Pronunciation

Interjection

à

  1. Expression of surprise.

Particle

à

  1. Question particle.
    Thế à?
    Really?