Webster 1913 Edition
Y, the twenty-fifth letter of the English alphabet, at the beginning of a word or syllable, except when a prefix (see Y-), is usually a fricative vocal consonant; as a prefix, and usually in the middle or at the end of a syllable, it is a vowel. See Guide to Pronunciation, §§ 145, 178-9, 272.
It derives its form from the Latin Y, which is from the Greek Υ, originally the same letter as V. Etymologically, it is most nearly related to u, i, o, and j. g; as in full, fill, AS. fyllan; E. crypt, grotto; young, juvenile; day, AS. dæg. See
☞ Y has been called the Pythagorean letter, because the Greek letter Υ was taken to represent the sacred triad, formed by the duad proceeding from the monad; and also because it represents the dividing of the paths of vice and virtue in the development of human life.
Something shaped like the letter
Y; a forked piece resembling in form the letter
One of the forked holders for supporting the telescope of a leveling instrument, or the axis of a theodolite; a wye.
A forked or bifurcated pipe fitting.
A portion of track consisting of two diverging tracks connected by a cross track.
an instrument for measuring differences of level by means of a telescope resting in–
a handsome European noctuid moth
Plusia gamma) which has a bright, silvery mark, shaped like the letter
Y, on each of the fore wings. Its larva, which is green with five dorsal white species, feeds on the cabbage, turnip, bean, etc. Called also
gamma moth, and
Webster 1828 Edition
Y, the twenty fifth letter of the English Alphabet, is taken from the Greed. At the beginning of words, it is called an articulation or consonant, and with some propriety perhaps, as it brings the root of the tongue in close contact with the lower part of the palate, and nearly in the position to which the close g brings it. Hence it has happened that in a great number of words, g has been changed into y, as the Sax. Gear, into year; geornian, into yearn; gyllan, into yell; gealew, into yellow.
In the middle and at the end of words, y is precisely the same as I. It is sounded as I long, when accented, as in defy, rely; and as I short, when unaccented, as in vanity, glory, synonymous. This latter sound is a vowel. At the beginning of words, y answers to the German and Dutch J.