Definitions of A

  1. Alpha, the first letter of the Greek alphabet, as Omega is the last. These letters occur in the text of Revelation 1:8 Revelation 1:11 ; 21:6 ; 22:13 , and are represented by " Alpha" and " Omega" respectively ( omitted in RSV, 1:11 ). They mean " the first and last." ( Compare Hebrews 12:2 ; Isaiah 41:4 ; 44:6 ; Revelation 1:11 Revelation 1:17 ; 2:8 .) In the symbols of the early Christian Church these two letters are frequently combined with the cross or with Christ's monogram to denote his divinity.
  2. The first letter of the English and most other alphabets, is frequently used as an abbreviation, ( q. v.) and also in the marks of schedules or papers, as schedule A, B, C, & c. Among the Romans this letter was used in criminal trials. The judges were furnished with small tables covered with wax, and each one inscribed on it the initial letter of his vote; A, when he voted to absolve the party on trial; C, when he was for condemnation; and N L, ( non liquet) when the matter did not appear clearly, and be desired a new argument.
  3. 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 ( 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
  4. 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
  5. In each; to or for each; as, a daya yeara yard
  6. the first letter in our alphabet, its corresponding symbol standing first also in many other alphabets derived from the Phoenician. It originated in the hieroglyphic picture of an eagle ( Old Egyptian ahom), the cursive hieratic form of which was the original of the Phoenician 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.
  7. the indefinite article, a broken-down form of An, and used before words beginning with the sound of a consonant. [ An was a new development, after the Conquest, of the A.S. numeral án, one.]
  8. ä or [= a], a 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. [ Short for A.S. an, a dialectic form of on, on, in, at. See PREFIXES.]
  9. ä, a dialectic corruption of he or she, 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 à Kempis, Thomas à Becket, & c.
  10. Abbreviation for anode.
  11. Abbreviations for ana, of each.
  12. Letter( pl. As A\'s, Aes). ( Mus.) note, and the corresponding scale. ( In argument) first imaginary person or case. ( Alg.) first known quantity. ( Naut.) A1( a wun), first-class ship in Lloyd\'s register; excellent, best, ( colloq.). ( Naut.) AE, third-class ship at Lloyd\'s. Abbreviations( 1): ab, A. U. C. ( urbe condita); able, A. B. ( -bodied); acting, as A. A. Q. M. G. ( assistant quartermaster general); assistant, as A. A. G. ( adjutant general), A. Q. M. G. ( quartermaster general); adjutant, as A. G. ( general); aide, A. D. C. ( -de-camp); anno, as A. D. ( domini), A. H. ( hegirae); ante, as a. m. ( meridiem); army, as A. S. C. ( service corps); Associate, as A. R. A. ( Royal Academy); authorized, A. V. ( version). Abbreviations( 2): ab init., ab initio; Abp, Archbishop; a/c., account; Adm., Admiral; advt, advertisement; aet., aetatis; Ala., Alabama; Alas., Alaska; Alban., Bishop of St Alban\'s; Ariz., Arizona; Ark., Arkansas; arr., arrives.
  13. On, to, towards, into, in. Mostly now written as pref., or oftener omitted than expressed, or confused w. A. On: abed, afoot. To: ashore. Towards: aback, afar, aside. Into: apart, asunder. In: now-a-days, twice a day; w. vbl nouns, passively, a-building, actively, was( a-) fighting, and esp. w. go, set, as he went a begging, they set the bells a ringing. [ old English]