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Shortened form of an. (Anglo-Saxon) an one. See One.; Originally the preposition a (an, on).




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

"At a birth"; "In a word"; "At a blow". (Shakespeare)

Note: 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.


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



Abbreviated form of an ((Anglo-Saxon) on). See On.; From (Anglo-Saxon) of off, from. See Of.


1. In; on; at; by. (obsolete) "A God's name." "Torn a pieces." "Stand a tiptoe." "A Sundays" (Shakespeare) "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" (Hebrew) xi. 21. "We'll a birding together." " It was a doing." (Shakespeare) "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.

Of. (obsolete) "The name of John a Gaunt." "What time a day is it " (Shakespeare) "It's six a clock." B. Jonson.

A barbarous corruption of have, of he, and sometimes of it and of they. "So would I a done" "A brushes his hat." (Shakespeare)

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)

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From Latin illa.


para (“to, for”)


a (plural a's or as or aes) The name of the Latin script letter A/a.


a (third-person singular simple present -, present participle -, simple past and past participle -) ​ (archaic or slang) Have. I'd a come, if you'd a asked 1604 (facsimile printed between 1830 and 1910), William Shakespeare, Hamlet: So would I a done by yonder ſunne And thou hadſt not come to my bed.


Adjective a (not comparable) (chiefly Scotland) All.


Adverb a (not comparable) (chiefly Scotland) All.


a this


a A meaningless syllable; ah. (Can we date this quote?) Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale, IV-iii: A merry heart goes all the day Your sad tires in a mile-a (Can we date this quote?) Avery, I Love to Singa: I love to sing-a About the moon-a and the June-a and the Spring-a.


a approbatur


Numeral a (cardinal) four


a (phonetics) Used in the International Phonetic Alphabet and in several romanization systems of non-Latin scripts to represent an open front unrounded vowel.


a (archaic) To do with position or direction; In, on, at, by, towards, onto. Stand a tiptoe. To do with separation; In, into. Torn a pieces. To do with time; Each, per, in, on, by. I brush my teeth twice a day. 1601, Shakespeare, Hamlet, IV-v A Sundays (obsolete) To do with method; In, with. Marlowe, C. Stands here a purpose. (obsolete) To do with role or capacity; In. A God’s name. To do with status; In. Bible To set the people a worke. (archaic) To do with process, with a passive verb; In the course of, experiencing. 1964, Bob Dylan, The Times They Are a-Changin’ The times, they are a-changin'. (archaic) To do with an action, an active verb; Engaged in. (Can we date this quote?) Shakespeare It was a doing. 1611, King James Bible, Hebrews 11-21 Jacob, when he was a dying (archaic) To do with an action/movement; To, into.


(Latin’s names for the letters of its own alphabet): ā (A), bē (B), cē (C), dē (D), ē (E), ef (F), gē (G), hā (H), ī (I), kā (K), el (L), em (M), en (N), ō (O), pē (P), kū (Q), er (R), es (S), tē (T), ū (V), ix / īx / ex (X), ȳ (Y), zēta (Z)


a lower case (upper case A) The first letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.


a and



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