see also: A
    • (British, America) IPA: /eɪ/
    • (Australia) IPA: /æɪ/
  • (phoneme) IPA: /æ/, /ɑː/, /eɪ/, etc.
  1. Letter of the English alphabet
  1. The ordinal number first, derived from this letter of the English alphabet, called a and written in the Latin script.

a (plural aes)

  1. The name of the Latin script letter A/a.
  • (stressed) IPA: /eɪ/
  • (unstressed) IPA: /ə/
  1. One; any indefinite example of; used to denote a singular item of a group. [First attested prior to 1150]
    There was a man here looking for you yesterday.
    • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, page vii:
      With fresh material, taxonomic conclusions are leavened by recognition that the material examined reflects the site it occupied; a herbarium packet gives one only a small fraction of the data desirable for sound conclusions. Herbarium material does not, indeed, allow one to extrapolate safely: what you see is what you get{{...}
    • 2005, Emily Kingsley (lyricist), Kevin Clash (voice actor), “A Cookie is a Sometime Food”, Sesame Street, season 36, Sesame Workshop:
      Hoots the Owl: Yes a, fruit, is a [sic], any, time, food!
    • 2016, [https://web.archive.org/web/20170925022505/https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-lesson-4/3168920.html VOA Learning English] (public domain)
      Anna, do you have a pen? — Yes. I have a pen in my bag. I have a (stressed) …
  2. Used in conjunction with the adjectives score, dozen, hundred, thousand, and million, as a function word.
    I've seen it happen a hundred times.
  3. One certain or particular; any single. [First attested between around 1150 and 1350]
    We've received an interesting letter from a Mrs. Miggins of London.
  4. The same; one. [16th Century]
    We are of a mind on matters of morals.
  5. Any, every; used before a noun which has become modified to limit its scope; also used with a negative to indicate not a single one.
    A man who dies intestate leaves his children troubles and difficulties.
    He fell all that way, and hasn't a bump on his head?
  6. Used before plural nouns modified by few, good many, couple, great many, etc.
  7. Someone or something like; similar to; Used before a proper noun to create an example out of it.
    The center of the village was becoming a Times Square.
Pronunciation Preposition
  1. (archaic) To do with position or direction; In, on, at, by, towards, onto. [First attested before 1150]
    Stand a tiptoe.
  2. To do with separation; In, into. [First attested before 1150]
    Torn a pieces.
  3. To do with time; Each, per, in, on, by. [First attested before 1150]
    I brush my teeth twice a day.
    • 1601, William Shakespeare, Hamlet, IV-v
      A Sundays
  4. (obsolete) To do with method; In, with. [First attested before 1150]
    • Stands here a purpose.
  5. (obsolete) To do with role or capacity; In. [First attested before 1150]
    A God’s name.
  6. To do with status; In. [First attested before 1150]
    King James Bible (II Chronicles 2:18)
    To set the people a worke.
  7. (archaic) To do with process, with a passive verb; In the course of, experiencing. [First attested before 1150]
    1964, Bob Dylan, The Times They Are a-Changin’
    The times, they are a-changin'.
  8. (archaic) To do with an action, an active verb; Engaged in. [16th century]
    • 1605~1608 Shakespeare
      It was a doing.
    1611, King James Bible, Hebrews 11-21
    Jacob, when he was a dying
  9. (archaic) To do with an action/movement; To, into. [16th century]
Pronunciation Verb
  1. (archaic or slang) Have. [between 1150 and 1350, continued in some use until 1650; used again after 1950]
    I'd a come, if you'd a asked.
    • 1604, William Shakespeare, Hamlet
      So would I a done by yonder ſunne
      And thou hadſt not come to my bed.
Pronunciation Pronoun
  1. (obsolete, outside, England and Scotland dialects) He, or sometimes she, it. [1150-1900] rfclarify en
    • 1874, Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd (Barnes & Noble Classics reprint [reset], 2005, chapter 5, page 117; from "Hardy's 1912 Wessex edition"):
      "And how Farmer James would cuss, and call thee a fool, wouldn't he, Joseph, when 'a seed his name looking so inside-out-like?" continued Matthew Moon, with feeling. / "Ay — 'a would," said Joseph meekly.
    • 1893, February, in Littell's Living Age, page 737:
      Martha quietly finished knitting the white stockings she meant to wear at Harry's and her wedding, knitting the more quickly when the two mothers were most dismal. Harry was hers now, she felt. "He was that set, a wudn't a gived in ef a 'adn't lost a lemb," she thought. And she felt sure she would never have given in; so it was 'all for the best.'
  • IPA: /ə/, /ɑː/
  1. A meaningless syllable: ah.
    • 1623, Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale, IV-iii
      A merry heart goes all the day
      Your sad tires in a mile-a
    • 1936, Avery, I Love to Singa:
      I love to sing-a
      About the moon-a and the June-a and the Spring-a.
  • (America) IPA: /ə/
  1. (archaic or slang) Of.
    The name of John a Gaunt.
    • a. 1597, Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1, I-ii
      What time a day is it?
    • 1598, Ben Jonson, Every man in his humour
      It’s six a clock.
    • 1931, When I'm Gone (Carter Family song):
      Two bottles 'a whiskey for the way
Pronunciation Adverb

a (not comparable)

  1. (chiefly, Scotland) all#adverb|All. [First attested from 1350 to 1470.]

a (not comparable)

  1. (chiefly, Scotland) all#adjective|All. [First attested from 1350 to 1470.]
  1. (crosswords) across
    Do you have the answer for 23a?

    • (RP, America) IPA: /eɪ̯/
    • (Australia) IPA: /æɪ/
  1. Letter of the English alphabet
    Apple starts with A.
    • 1945 August 17, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter 3, in Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, London: Secker & Warburg, OCLC 3655473 ↗:
      Boxer could not get beyond the letter D. He would trace out A, B, C, D, in the dust with his great hoof […]
Related terms Noun
  1. ace.
  2. acre.
  3. adult; as used in film rating.
  4. ammeter.
  5. (physics) Angstrom.
  6. Answer.
  7. (sports) An assist
  8. (sexuality) asexual
  9. (UK, London) arsehole
  10. (card games) ace
  11. (weaponry) Atom.
  • (physics) Å
  • French: A (as)
  • German: A (Ass)
  • Portuguese: A (ás)
  • Russian: Т
  1. (weaponry) Atom; atomic.

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