Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


U

U

(ū)
,
the twenty-first letter of the English alphabet, is a cursive form of the letter V, with which it was formerly used interchangeably, both letters being then used both as vowels and consonants. U and V are now, however, differentiated, U being used only as a vowel or semivowel, and V only as a consonant. The true primary vowel sound of U, in Anglo-Saxon, was the sound which it still retains in most of the languages of Europe, that of long oo, as in tool, and short oo, as in wood, answering to the French ou in tour. Etymologically U is most closely related to o, y (vowel), w, and v; as in two, duet, dyad, twice; top, tuft; sop, sup; auspice, aviary. See
V
, also
O
and
Y
.
See Guide to Pronunciation , §§ 130-144.

Webster 1828 Edition


U

U

is the twenty first letter and the fifth vowel in the English Alphabet. The sound seems to be nearly that of eu, shortened and blended. This sound however is not precisely that of eu or yu, except in a few words, as in unite, union, uniform; the sound does not begin with the distinct sound of e, nor end in the distinct sound of oo, unless when prolonged. It cannot be well expressed in letters. This sound is heard in the unaffected pronunciation of annuity, numerate, brute, mute, dispute, duke, true, truth, rule, prudence, opportunity, infusion.
Some modern writers make a distinction between the sound of u, when it follows r, as in rude, truth, and its sound when it follows other letters, as in mute, duke; making the former sound equivalent to oo; rood, trooth; and the latter a diphthong equivalent to eu or yu. This is a mischievous innovation, and not authorized by any general usage either in England or the United States. The difference, very nice indeed, between the sound of u in mute, and in rude, is owing entirely to the articulation which precedes that letter. For example, when a labial precedes u, we enter on its sound with the lips closed, and in opening them to the position required for uttering u, there is almost necessarily a slight sound of e formed before we arrive at the proper sound of u. When r precedes u, the mouth is open before the sound of u is commenced. But in both cases, u is to be considered as having the same sound.
In some words, as in bull, full, pull, the sound of u is that of the Italian u, the French ou, but shortened. This is a vowel.

U

has another short sound, as in tun, run, sun, turn,
rub.
This also is a vowel.

Definition 2021


U

U


U U+0055, U
LATIN CAPITAL LETTER U
T
[U+0054]
Basic Latin V
[U+0056]
See also: u, û, Ս, Ա, Մ, , and Appendix:Variations of "u"

Translingual

Letter

U upper case (lower case u)

  1. The twenty-first letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.

See also

Symbol

U

  1. (chemistry) Symbol for uranium.
  2. (genetics) IUPAC 1-letter abbreviation for uracil
  3. (physics) voltage
  4. (mathematics, statistics) uniform distribution
  5. (algebra) unitary group

See also

Other representations of U:


English

Letter

U (upper case, lower case u, plural Us or U's)

  1. The twenty-first letter of the English alphabet, called u and written in the Latin script.

See also

Derived terms

Abbreviation

U

  1. (British film certificate) universal (suitable for all ages)
  2. under
  3. university
  4. up or upper
  5. united
  6. (education, espionage, usually in parentheses) unclassified
  7. A U-turn
    • 2003, Tony Hillerman, The Sinister Pig, ISBN 0061098787, page 115:
      Do a U across the divider and get on back here to the office.

Adjective

U (comparative more U, superlative most U)

  1. (chiefly Britain) Characteristic of the upper classes, particularly in use of language.

Antonyms

Quotations

  • [1956], Alan S.C. Ross, “U and non-U,” in Brewer’s Anthology of England and the English, David Milsted
    To TAKE a bath is non-U against U to HAVE one’s bath.
  • 1956, Nancy Mitford, Noblesse Oblige: an Inquiry into the Identifiable Characteristics of the English Aristocracy
    In a treatise that still causes ripples in English society, Mitford defined various terms as either U (upper class) or non-U.
  • 1992, Stephan Gramley, Survey of Modern English
    Other, perhaps more contentious generalizations, which nevertheless contain a certain amount of truth, are that afternoon tea is U, starts at four and typically consists of tea, thin sandwiches and cakes.
  • 1992, Linda Rosenkrantz, Beyond Charles and Diana

Proper noun

U

  1. A language belonging to the Austro-Asiatic language family which is spoken in China.

Synonyms

  • P'uman

External links


American Sign Language

Letter

(Stokoe U)

  1. The letter U

Azeri

Letter

U upper case (lower case u)

  1. The twenty-eighth letter of the Azeri alphabet, written in the Latin script.

See also


Dutch

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /y/

Pronoun

U (personal & reflexive pronoun, capitalized form of u)

  1. (archaic) Second-person singular & plural, objective & subjective: you (polite).

Usage notes

See usage notes at u.

Letter

U (capital, lowercase u)

  1. The twenty-first letter of the Dutch alphabet.

See also

  • Previous letter: T
  • Next letter: V

Esperanto

Letter

U (upper case, lower case u)

  1. The twenty-fifth letter of the Esperanto alphabet, called u and written in the Latin script.

See also


Finnish

Letter

U (upper case, lower case u)

  1. The twenty-first letter of the Finnish alphabet, called uu and written in the Latin script.

See also


German

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ʔuː/

Letter

U (upper case, lower case u)

  1. The twenty-first letter of the German alphabet.

Italian

Pronunciation

  • (phoneme; name of letter) IPA(key): /u/
  • (phoneme, when followed by a vowel in the same syllable) IPA(key): /w/

Letter

U m, f (invariable, lower case u)

  1. The nineteenth letter of the Italian alphabet, called u and written in the Latin script.

See also


Latin

Etymology

In Latin, the letter U is a modern typographical convention for the vowel form of V. The letter V in ancient times denoted either a vowel or a consonant, see V for more information.

Pronunciation

  • Classical: IPA: short /u/, long /u:/

Letter

U

  1. A letter of the Latin alphabet.

References


Latvian

Etymology

Proposed in 1908 as part of the new Latvian spelling by the scientific commission headed by K. Mīlenbahs, which was accepted and began to be taught in schools in 1909. Prior to that, Latvian had been written in German Fraktur, and sporadically in Cyrillic.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): [u]

Letter

U

U (upper case, lower case u)

  1. The twenty-ninth letter of the Latvian alphabet, called u and written in the Latin script.

See also


Malay

Pronunciation

  • (Name of letter) IPA(key): [ju]
  • (Phoneme) IPA(key): [u]
  • (Phoneme, Closed ultima) IPA(key): [o]

Letter

U

  1. The twenty-first letter of the Malay alphabet, written in the Latin script.

See also


Portuguese

Letter

U (upper case, lower case u)

  1. The twenty-first letter of the Portuguese alphabet, written in the Latin script.

See also


Romanian

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /u/

Letter

U (capital, lowercase u)

  1. The twenty-sixth letter of the Romanian alphabet representing the phoneme /u/. Preceded by Ţ and followed by V.

Saanich

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /əw/, /u/

Letter

U

  1. The thirty-second letter of the Saanich alphabet, written in the Latin script.

See also


Skolt Sami

Pronunciation

  • (phoneme) IPA(key): /u/, /w/

Letter

U (lower case u)

  1. The thirty-first letter of the Skolt Sami alphabet, written in the Latin script.

See also


Slovene

Letter

U (capital, lowercase u)

  1. The 22nd letter of the Slovene alphabet. Preceded by T and followed by V.

Somali

Pronunciation

  • (phoneme): IPA(key): /ʉ/, /u/
  • (letter name): IPA(key): /ʔu/

Letter

U upper case (lower case u)

  1. The twenty-seventh letter of the Somali alphabet, called u and written in the Latin script.

Usage notes

  1. The twenty-seventh, and final, letter of the Somali alphabet, which follows Arabic abjad order. It is preceded by O.

See also


Spanish

Letter

U (upper case, lower case u)

  1. The 22nd letter of the Spanish alphabet.

Turkish

Letter

U (upper case, lower case u)

  1. The twenty-fifth letter of the Turkish alphabet, called u and written in the Latin script.

See also


Vietnamese

Pronunciation

Letter

U (upper case, lower case u)

  1. The twenty-fifth letter of the Vietnamese alphabet, called u and written in the Latin script.

See also

u

u


u U+0075, u
LATIN SMALL LETTER U
t
[U+0074]
Basic Latin v
[U+0076]
See also: U, ս, and Appendix:Variations of "u"

Translingual

Etymology 1

Minuscule variation of U, a modern variation of classical Latin V, from seventh century Old Latin adoption of Old Italic letter 𐌖 (V).

Letter

u lower case (upper case U)

  1. The twenty-first letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.
See also

Etymology 2

Pronunciation

Symbol

u

  1. (metrology) symbol for unified atomic mass unit
  2. (phonetics) Used in the International Phonetic Alphabet and in several romanization systems of non-Latin scripts to represent a close back rounded vowel (/u/).
  3. (physics) up quark

See also

Other representations of U:


English

Letter

u (lower case, upper case U, plural u's)

  1. The twenty-first letter of the English alphabet, called u and written in the Latin script.
    I prefer the u in Arial to the one in Times New Roman.

See also

Noun

u (plural ues)

  1. The name of the Latin-script letter U/u.
  2. A thing in the shape of the letter U

See also

Translations

Derived terms

Pronoun

u (second person, singular or plural, nominative or objective)

  1. (abbreviation, slang, text messaging, Internet) you (in text messaging and internet conversations)
    Take me with u.

Abbreviation

u

  1. Underwater.

Derived terms


Afrikaans

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /y/

Etymology 1

From Dutch u.

Pronoun

u

  1. (formal) you (singular, subject and object)

See also

Etymology 2

From Dutch uw.

Determiner

u

  1. (formal) your (singular)

See also


Albanian

Etymology

From Proto-Albanian *wa, from Proto-Indo-European *su̯om.

Pronoun

u

  1. reflexive pronoun

Aragonese

Etymology 1

From Latin aut.

Conjunction

u

  1. or

Aromanian

Etymology

Probably from an early (proto-Romanian) root *eaua, from Latin illam, accusative feminine singular of ille. Compare Romanian o.

Pronoun

u f (short/unstressed accusative form of ea)

  1. (direct object) her

Related terms

  • ãl (masculine equivalent)
  • li (plural)

Asturian

Etymology 1

From Latin aut.

Conjunction

u

  1. or

Etymology 2

From Latin ubi.

Pronoun

u

  1. where (relative pronoun)

Adverb

u

  1. where

Related terms


Azeri

Letter

u lower case (upper case U)

  1. The twenty-eighth letter of the Azeri alphabet, written in the Latin script.

See also


Catalan

Etymology 1

Noun

u f (plural us)

  1. The Latin letter U (lowercase u).

Etymology 2

Noun

u m (plural uns)

  1. (cardinal) one

Corsican

Article

u m

  1. the

Related terms

Pronoun

u m

  1. him, it

Czech

Pronunciation

Preposition

u + genitive

  1. at
  2. by

Dutch

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /y/

Etymology

Originally the accusative/dative form of jij/gij, from Middle Dutch u, from Old Dutch iu, from Proto-Germanic *iwwiz, West Germanic variant of *izwiz, dative/accusative of *jūz, from Proto-Indo-European *yū́. Doublet of jou.

The use as a nominative stems from an original possessive uwe edelheid (your gentility), which was later shortened to U E. and finally to u.

Cognate with West Frisian jo, Low German jo, ju, English you, German euch.

Pronoun

u

  1. (personal, second-person singular, subjective) you (polite).
    Bent u klaar? ― Are you ready?
    Bent u er nog? ― Are you still there?
  2. (personal, second-person singular, objective) you (polite).
    Ik zal het aan u geven. ― I will give it to you.
    Dit zal niet werken voor u. ― This won’t work for you.
  3. (personal, second-person singular, objective) thee (dialectal).
    Ik doe dat wel voor u. ― I’ll do it for thee.
  4. (personal, second-person plural, subjective) you (polite).
    Hebt u die oefening gemaakt? ― Have you prepared that exercise?
  5. (personal, second-person plural, objective) you (polite).
    Ze zullen dat wel voor u doen. ― They’ll do it for you.
  6. (reflexive, second-person singular) thyself (dialectal)
    Gij hebt u niet gewassen. ― Thou hast not washed thyself.
  7. (reflexive, second-person plural) yourselves (dialectal)
    Wast u eens. ― Wash yourselves.

Usage notes

  • The capitalization of u (as in U or Uw) is now considered old-fashioned, and no longer compulsory. In religious contexts, it is still often capitalized.
  • See usage notes at gij.

Inflection


Letter

u (lower case, upper case U)

  1. The twenty-first letter of the Dutch alphabet.

See also

  • Previous letter: t
  • Next letter: v

Esperanto

Pronunciation

  • (letter name): IPA(key): /u/
  • (phoneme): IPA(key): /u/

Letter

u (lower case, upper case U)

  1. The twenty-fifth letter of the Esperanto alphabet, called u and written in the Latin script.

See also

Noun

u (accusative singular u-on, plural u-oj, accusative plural u-ojn)

  1. The name of the Latin-script letter U/u.

See also


Faroese

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /uː/

Letter

u (upper case U)

  1. The twenty-third letter of the Faroese alphabet, written in the Latin script.

See also


Greenlandic

Affix

u

  1. to be
    e.g. ilinniartitsisiuuvugut - We are teachers.

Italian

Noun

u m, f (invariable)

  1. See under U

Japanese

Romanization

u

  1. rōmaji reading of
  2. rōmaji reading of

Latin

Pronunciation

Noun

ū (indeclinable)

  1. The name of the letter V.

Coordinate terms

References

  • Félix Gaffiot (1934), “u”, in Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Paris: Hachette.
  • Meissner, Carl; Auden, Henry William (1894) Latin Phrase-Book, London: Macmillan and Co.
    • anger is defined as a passionate desire for revenge: iracundiam sic (ita) definiunt, ut ulciscendi libidinem esse dicant or ut u. libido sit or iracundiam sic definiunt, ulc. libidinem
  • u in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • Arthur E. Gordon, The Letter Names of the Latin Alphabet (University of California Press, 1973; volume 9 of University of California Publications: Classical Studies), part III: “Summary of the Ancient Evidence”, page 32: "Clearly there is no question or doubt about the names of the vowels A, E, I, O, U. They are simply long A, long E, etc. (ā, ē, ī, ō, ū). Nor is there any uncertainty with respect to the six mutes B, C, D, G, P, T. Their names are bē, cē, dē, gē, pē, tē (each with a long E). Or about H, K, and Q: they are hā, kā, kū—each, again, with a long vowel sound."

Latvian

Etymology

Proposed in 1908 as part of the new Latvian spelling by the scientific commission headed by K. Mīlenbahs, which was accepted and began to be taught in schools in 1909. Prior to that, Latvian had been written in German Fraktur, and sporadically in Cyrillic.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): [u]

Letter

U

u (lower case, upper case U)

  1. The twenty-ninth letter of the Latvian alphabet, called u and written in the Latin script.

See also

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): [u]

Noun

u m (invariable)

  1. The name of the Latin script letter U/u.

See also


Livonian

Pronunciation

  • (phoneme) IPA(key): /u/

Letter

u (upper case U)

  1. The thirty-fifth letter of the Livonian alphabet, written in the Latin script.

See also


Malay

Letter

u (lower case, upper case U)

  1. The twenty-first letter of the Malay alphabet, written in the Latin script.

See also


Maltese

Etymology

From Semitic. Cognate with Arabic وَ (wa), Hebrew וְ־ (v').

Conjunction

u

  1. and (used to connect two similar words, phrases, etc.)

Mauritian Creole

Pronoun

u (informal to)

  1. Alternative spelling of ou

See also


Middle French

Etymology

From Latin u, v.

Letter

u

  1. u (letter)
  2. v (letter)

Usage notes

  • u and v were represented by a single character in Middle French, although scholars consider them to be separate letters both in terms of usage and in terms of pronunciation.

Middle Low German

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /uː/

Pronoun

û

  1. (personal pronoun, dative, accusative) Alternative form of .
  2. (possessive) Alternative form of .

Declension

Possessive pronoun:


Norman

Alternative forms

Etymology

From Old French ueil, from Vulgar Latin oclus, from Latin oculus, from Proto-Indo-European *h₃ekʷ- (eye; to see).

Noun

u m (plural uûs or uur)

  1. (France, anatomy) eye

Norwegian

Pronunciation

  • (letter name): IPA(key): /ʉː/
  • (phoneme): IPA(key): /ʉː/, /ʉ/, /ʊ/

Letter

u

  1. The 21st letter of the Norwegian alphabet

Old French

Etymology 1

From Latin ubi.

Adverb

u

  1. (interrogative) where
Descendants
  • Middle French: ou

Etymology 2

From Latin u, v.

Letter

u

  1. u (letter)
  2. v (letter)
Usage notes
  • u and v were represented by a single character in Old French, although scholars consider them to be separate letters both in terms of usage and in terms of pronunciation.

Old Portuguese

Etymology

From Latin ubi.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˈu/

Adverb

u

  1. where

Descendants

  • Galician: u
  • Portuguese: u

Polish

Etymology

From Proto-Slavic *u, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ew.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): [u]

Preposition

u (+ genitive)

  1. at

Portuguese

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˈu/
  • Homophone: o

Etymology 1

Letter

u (lower case, upper case U)

  1. The twenty-first letter of the Portuguese alphabet, written in the Latin script.

See also

Noun

u m (plural us)

  1. u (name of the letter U, u)

Etymology 2

From Old Portuguese u, from Latin ubi. Cognate with Galician u, French , Italian ove and Romanian iuo.

Adverb

u

  1. (obsolete) where
Synonyms

Etymology 3

Article

u m

  1. Eye dialect spelling of o.

Pumpokol

Etymology

From Proto-Yeniseian *ʔaw (/ *ʔu) ("thou").

Pronoun

u

  1. you (second-person plural subjective)

Synonyms


Romanian

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /u/

Letter

u (lowercase, capital U)

  1. The twenty-fifth letter of the Romanian alphabet representing the phoneme /u/. Preceded by ţ and followed by v.

Romansch

Etymology

From Latin aut.

Conjunction

u

  1. or

Rumu

Noun

u

  1. water

References


Serbo-Croatian

Etymology 1

See Translingual section.

Alternative forms

  • (uppercase) U

Pronunciation

  • (phoneme) IPA(key): /u/

Letter

u (Cyrillic spelling у)

  1. The 27th letter of the Serbo-Croatian Latin alphabet (gajica), preceded by t and followed by v.

Etymology 2

From Proto-Slavic *u, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ew.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /u/

Preposition

u (Cyrillic spelling у)

  1. (with locative) in, at (without change of position, answering the question gdjȅ/gdȅ)
    biti u školi ― to be in the school
    u c(ij)elom društvu ― in the whole society
  2. (with accusative) to, into (with change of position, answering the question kùda)
    ići u školu ― to go to school
    putovati u Ameriku ― to travel to America
  3. (with accusative) on, in, at, during (in expressions concerning time)
    u podne ― at noon
    u sr(ij)edu ― on Wednesday
    u zoru ― at dawn
    U koliko sati? ― At what time?
  4. (with locative) in, during (in expressions concerning time)
    u jednom danu ― in one day
    u mladosti ― during one's youth

Skolt Sami

Pronunciation

  • (phoneme) IPA(key): /u/, /w/

Letter

u (upper case U)

  1. The thirty-first letter of the Skolt Sami alphabet, written in the Latin script.

See also


Somali

Preposition

u

  1. to
  2. for

Usage notes

  • In Somali, prepositions fall before the verb and not before the noun they modify:
    u sheeg -- to tell (lit. to call to)
    u keen -- to bring to

Spanish

Etymology 1

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /u/

Letter

u (lower case, upper case U)

  1. The 22nd letter of the Spanish alphabet.

Noun

u f (plural úes)

  1. Name of the letter U.

Etymology 2

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /u/, [u], [w]

Conjunction

u

  1. or
Usage notes

Used instead of o when the following word starts with a vowel sound which is pronounced /o/.

See also


Swedish

Pronunciation

Letter name
  • IPA(key): /ʉː/
Phoneme
  • IPA(key): /ʉː/, /ɵ/

Letter

u (lower case, upper case U)

  1. The twenty-first letter of the Swedish alphabet, called u and written in the Latin script.

Tolai

Pronoun

u

  1. Second-person singular pronoun: you (singular)

Declension



Torres Strait Creole

Noun

u

  1. (eastern dialect) a mature coconut

Usage notes

U is the sixth stage of coconut growth. It is preceded by pes and followed by drai koknat.


Turkish

Letter

u (lower case, upper case U)

  1. The twenty-fifth letter of the Turkish alphabet, called u and written in the Latin script.

See also

Noun

u

  1. The name of the Latin-script letter U/u.

See also


Turkmen

Pronunciation

  • (phoneme) IPA(key): /u/, /uː/

Letter

u (upper case U)

  1. The twenty-fifth letter of the Turkmen alphabet, called u and written in the Latin script.

See also


Tzotzil

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ʔu/

Noun

u

  1. moon
  2. month

Synonyms

  • (moon): jch'ul me'tik

References


Uzbek

Pronoun

u (Cyrillic у)

  1. Demonstrative pronoun used to indicate a thing that is far away from the speaker. that.
    • U eshik.That is a door. / That door.

Vietnamese

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

Noun

u (𡠄)

  1. (Northern Vietnam) mother; mom
Synonyms

Etymology 2

From Proto-Vietic *ʔuː (hump (of a zebu))

Noun

(classifier khối) u (, 𢉾)

  1. (oncology, pathology) tumor
Derived terms
  • u mỡ
  • u xơ tử cung
  • u nang buồng trứng
Related terms

Etymology 3

Borrowing from Portuguese u.

Noun

u

  1. The name of the Latin-script letter U/u.

Volapük

Conjunction

u

  1. or

Alternative forms

  1. (in front of vowels) ud