Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


An

An

(ăn)
.
[AS.
ān
one, the same word as the numeral. See
One
, and cf.
A
.]
This word is properly an adjective, but is commonly called the indefinite article. It is used before nouns of the singular number only, and signifies one, or any, but somewhat less emphatically. In such expressions as “twice an hour,” “once an age,” a shilling an ounce (see 2d
A
, 2), it has a distributive force, and is equivalent to each, every.
An is used before a word beginning with a vowel sound; as, an enemy, an hour. It in also often used before h sounded, when the accent of the word falls on the second syllable; as, an historian, an hyena, an heroic deed. Many writers use a before h in such positions. Anciently an was used before consonants as well as vowels.

An

,
c
onj.
[Shortened fr.
and
, OE.
an
.,
and
, sometimes
and if
, in introducing conditional clauses, like Icel.
enda
if, the same word as
and
. Prob.
and
was originally pleonastic before the conditional clause.]
If; – a word used by old English authors.
Shak.
Nay,
an
thou dalliest, then I am thy foe.
B. Jonson.
An if
,
and if; if.

Webster 1828 Edition


An

AN

,
Adj.
[L. unus, una, unum; Gr.]
One; noting an individual, either definitely, known, certain, specified, or understood; or indefinitely, not certain, known, or specified. Definitely, as 'Noah built an ark of Gopher wood.' 'Paul was an eminent apostle.' Indefinitely, as 'Bring me an orange.' Before a consonant the letter n is dropped, as a man; but our ancestors wrote an man, an king. This letter represents an definitely, or indefinitely. Definitely, as 'I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God.' Ex. 6. Indefinitely, as 'the province of a judge is to decide controversies.' An being the same word as one, should not be used with it; 'such an one' is tautology; the true phrase is such one. Although an, a and one, are the same word, and always have the same sense, yet by custom, an and a are used exclusively as a definite adjective, and one is used in numbering. Where our ancestors wrote an, twa, thry, we now use one, two, three. So an and a are never used except with a noun; but one like other adjectives, is sometimes used without its noun, and as a substitute for it; 'one is at a loss to assign a reason for such conduct.'

AN

, in old English authors, signifies if; as, 'an it please your honor.' Gr.; L. an, if or whether. It is probably an imperative, like if, gif, give.

Definition 2022


An

An

See also: an, án, ăn, ân, Ân, ấn, Ấn, and ẩn

English

Proper noun

An

  1. Alternative form of Anu

Anagrams


Vietnamese

Etymology

Sino-Vietnamese word from

Pronunciation

Proper noun

An

  1. A male or female given name

Anagrams

an

an

See also: Appendix:Variations of "an"

English

Article

an

  1. Form, used before a vowel sound, of a
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 2, in The Celebrity:
      Sunning himself on the board steps, I saw for the first time Mr. Farquhar Fenelon Cooke. He was dressed out in broad gaiters and bright tweeds, like an English tourist, and his face might have belonged to Dagon, idol of the Philistines.
  2. (rare, nonstandard) Form of a used by a few speakers and writers before /h/, especially if weakly pronounced.
Usage notes
Main appendix: English articles#Indefinite articles
  • In standard English, the article an is used before vowel sounds, while a is used before consonant sounds. Very rarely, an can be found before an unstressed syllable beginning with a pronounced h (especially if the h is weakly aspirated), as in an historic; this usage is favoured by only 6% of British speakers, and is only slightly more common in writing.[1] In the other direction, a can rarely be found before a vowel in nonstandard (often dialectal) speech and written representations thereof, as in "ain't this a innerestin sitchation" (Moira Young, Blood Red Road).
  • The various article senses of a are all senses of an.
Translations

References

  1. Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage (2015, ISBN 0199661359), page 2: "Before words beginning with h [...] the standard modern approach is to use a (never an) together with an aspirated h [...], but not to demur if others use an with minimal or nil aspiration given to the following h (an historic /әn (h)ɪs'tɒrɪk/, an horrific /әn (h)ɒ'rɪfɪk/, etc.)." Fowler's goes on to source the 6% figure to Wells (third edition, 2008).

Etymology 2

From Middle English an.

Conjunction

an

  1. (archaic) If, so long as.
    An it please you, my lord.
  2. (archaic) as if; as though.
    • 1797, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere (original version), 61-64:
      At length did cross an Albatross, Thorough the Fog it came; And an it were a Christian Soul, We hail'd it in God's Name.
Translations

Etymology 3

Borrowing from Georgian [Term?].

Noun

an (plural ans)

  1. The first letter of the Georgian alphabet, (Mkhedruli), (Asomtavruli) or ⴀ (Nuskhuri).

Etymology 4

From the Old English an, on (preposition).

Preposition

an

  1. In each; to or for each; per.
    I was only going twenty miles an hour.
Usage notes
  • This is the same as the word a in such contexts, modified because of preceding an unpronounced h. The train was speeding along at a mile a minute.
Synonyms
Translations
Most common English words before 1923: one · so · me · #41: an · we · who · said

References

  • an in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: one · so · me · #41: an · we · who · said

Anagrams


Albanian

Etymology

Possibly a metaphorical use of anë (vessel).

Noun

an m

  1. uterus
Synonyms
Related terms

Arin

Noun

an

  1. haunch

Aromanian

Etymology

From Latin annus. Compare Daco-Romanian an.

Noun

an n (plural anji)

  1. year

Breton

Alternative forms

Article

an

  1. the

Chuukese

Determiner

an

  1. third person singular possessive; his, hers, its (used with general-class objects)

Related terms

Noun

an

  1. path, road

Cimbrian

Article

an

  1. a (indefinite article)

Conjunction

an

  1. that (introduces a subordinate clause)

References

  • “an” in Umberto Martello Martalar, Alfonso Bellotto, Dizionario della lingua Cimbra dei Setti Communi vicentini, 1st edition, 1974.

Crimean Tatar

Noun

an

  1. moment

Declension

References

  • Mirjejev, V. A.; Usejinov, S. M. (2002) Ukrajinsʹko-krymsʹkotatarsʹkyj slovnyk [Ukrainian – Crimean Tatar Dictionary], Simferopol: Dolya, ISBN 966-7980-89-8

Danish

Verb

an

  1. imperative of ane

Elfdalian

Etymology

From Old Norse hann. Cognate with Swedish han.

Pronoun

an m

  1. he

Emilian

Noun

an m

  1. year

French

Etymology

From Old French, from Latin annus, from Proto-Italic *atnos, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂et-no-, probably from *h₂et- (to go).

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): [ɑ̃]

Noun

an m (plural ans)

  1. A year

Synonyms

Anagrams


Friulian

Etymology

From Latin annus.

Noun

an m (plural agns)

  1. year

Fuyug

Noun

an (plural aning)

  1. man

References

  • Robert L. Bradshaw, Fuyug grammar sketch (2007)

German

Etymology

From Old High German ana.

Pronunciation

  • Rhymes: -an

Preposition

an (with an accusative or dative case object)

  1. (with a location in the dative case) on; upon; at; in; against
    Das Bild hängt an der Wand. ― The picture hangs on the wall.
  2. (with a time in the dative case) on; in
  3. (with a dative case object) by; near; close to; next to
  4. (with a dative case object) by means of; by
  5. (with an accusative case object) on; onto
    Ich hänge das Bild an die Wand. ― I hang the picture on the wall.
  6. (with an accusative case object) at; against
    Schauen Sie an die Tafel. ― Look at the blackboard.
  7. (with an accusative case object) to; for

Usage notes

  • The preposition an is used with an object in the accusative case if it indicates movement from one place to another, whereas it is used with the dative case if it indicates a location.
  • It is usually used to refer to something being on a vertical surface, as opposed to auf, which usually points to a horizontal surface.
  • When followed by the masculine/neuter definite article in the dative case (i.e. dem (the)), the two words contract to am (on the).
  • When followed by the neuter definite article in the accusative case (i.e. das (the)), the two words contract to ans (on the).

Adverb

an

  1. onward; on
    von heute an ― from today on

Anagrams


Gothic

Romanization

an

  1. Romanization of 𐌰𐌽

Haitian Creole

Etymology 1

From French un.

Article

an

  1. the (definite article)
Usage notes

Use this word when:

  • It modifies a singular noun, and
  • It is preceded by a word that ends with either:

See also

Etymology 2

From French an (year)

Noun

an

  1. year
Synonyms

Ido

Etymology

Borrowing from German an.

Preposition

an

  1. at, on (indicates contiguity, juxtaposition)
    Me pendis pikturi an la parieto.
    I hung paintings on the wall.

Derived terms


Irish

Etymology

From Old Irish in.

Pronunciation

  • (article): IPA(key): [ənˠ]; between consonants [ə]
  • (preverbal particle): IPA(key): [ə]
  • (copular particle): IPA(key): [ənˠ]; before é, ea, í, iad [ə.n̠ʲ-]

Article

an

  1. the
    an t-uisce ― the water
    an bhean ― the woman
    an pháiste ― of the child
    ag an gcailín/ag an chailín ― at the girl

Declension

Case Masculine singular Feminine singular Plural
Nominative/accusative anT anL naH
Genitive anL naH naN
Dative (ag) anDM (ag) anDF naH
DF: triggers eclipsis or lenition depending on dialect; no lenition of d, t; changes s to ts (pronounced like t)
DM: triggers eclipsis or lenition depending on dialect; no lenition of d, t, s
H: triggers h-prothesis
L: triggers lenition except of d, t; changes s to ts (pronounced like t)
N: triggers eclipsis
T: triggers t-prothesis of a vowel

Particle

an (triggers eclipsis; takes the dependent form of irregular verbs if available; not used in the past tense except of some irregular verbs)

  1. Used to form direct and indirect questions
    An bhfuil tú ag éisteacht? ― Are you listening?
    Níl a fhios agam an bhfuil sé anseo. ― I don’t know if/whether he is here.

Related terms

  • ar (used in the past tense of regular and some irregular verbs)

Particle

an

  1. used to introduce copular questions, both direct and indirect, in the present/future tense
    An maith leat bainne?
    Do you like milk?
    Níl a fhios agam an é Conchúr a chonaic mé.
    I don’t know if it’s Connor whom I saw.

Related terms

References

  • "an" in Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla, An Gúm, 1977, by Niall Ó Dónaill.
  • in” in Dictionary of the Irish Language, Royal Irish Academy, 1913–76.

Japanese

Romanization

an

  1. rōmaji reading of あん

Kurdish

Conjunction

an

  1. or

Synonyms

  • yan (after a vowel-ending word)

Ladin

Etymology

From Latin annus.

Noun

an m (plural ani)

  1. year

Latin

Etymology

From Proto-Italic *an, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂en. Cognate with Lithuanian angu (or), Gothic 𐌰𐌽 (an, so? now?). May also be related to Ancient Greek ἄν (án, particle), Sanskrit अना (anā́), Avestan [script needed] (anā), Lithuanian anàs, Proto-Slavic *onъ.[1]

Pronunciation

Conjunction

an

  1. or, or whether (A conjunction that introduces the second part of a disjunctive interrogation, or a phrase implying doubt.)
    1. in disjunctive interrogations
      1. direct
        1. (introduced by utrum (whether))
        2. (introduced by -ne (interrogative enclitic))
        3. (introduced by nonne ([is it] not))
        4. (introduced by num (interrogative particle))
        5. (without an introductory particle)
      2. indirect
        1. (introduced by utrum (whether))
        2. (introduced by -ne, interrogative enclitic)
        3. (introduced by an)
        4. (without an introductory particle)
      3. or rather, or on the contrary (where the opinion of the speaker or the probability inclines to the second interrogative clause, and this is made emphatic, as a corrective of the former)
        1. hence, in the comic poets, as an potius
      4. or, or rather, or indeed, or perhaps (where, as is frequent, the first part of the interrogation is not expressed, but is to be supplied from the context, an begins the interrogation, but it does not begin an absolute – i.e., non-disjunctive – interrogation)
      5. (in the phrase an nōn) or not
        1. in direct questions
        2. in indirect questions
      6. (in the phrase an ne) pleonastic usage for an
        1. in direct questions
        2. in indirect questions
    2. (in disjunctive clauses that express doubt) or
      1. ?
      2. denoting uncertainty by itself, without a verb of doubting
      3. (chiefly in and after the Augustean period) standing for sīve
      4. where the first disjunctive clause is to be supplied from the general idea or where an stands for utrum or necne
      5. Since in such distributive sentences expressive of doubt, the opinion of the speaker or the probability usually inclines to the second, i.e. to the clause beginning with an, the expressions haud sciō an, nesciō an, and dubitō an incline to an affirmative signification, “I almost know”, “I am inclined to think”, “I almost think”, “I might say”, “I might assert that”, etc., for “perhaps”, “probably”.
      6. Sometimes the distributive clause beginning with an designates directly the opposite, the more improbable, the negative; in which case nesciō an, haud sciō an, etc., like the English I know not whether, signify “I think that not”, “I believe that not”, etc.

Usage notes

  • Used with utrum (whether) in the construction utrum...an (whether...or):
    Nescio quid intersit, utrum nunc veniam, an ad decem annos.
    I know not what matter it is, whether I come now or after ten years.

Derived terms

References

  • ăn in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • Félix Gaffiot (1934), “an”, in Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Paris: Hachette.
  • Meissner, Carl; Auden, Henry William (1894) Latin Phrase-Book, London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to offer a person the alternative of... or..: optionem alicui dare, utrum...an
    • it is a debated point whether... or..: in contentione ponitur, utrum...an
    • it is a difficult point, disputed question: magna quaestio est (followed by an indirect question)
    • to keep, celebrate a festival: diem festum agere (of an individual)
  1. De Vaan, Michiel (2008) Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill

Loniu

Noun

an

  1. fresh water

References

  • Malcolm Ross, Andrew Pawley, Meredith Osmond, The Lexicon of Proto-Oceanic (ISBN 1921313196, 2007)
  • Blust's Austronesian Comparative Dictionary (as ʔan)

Low German

Pronunciation

  • Rhymes: -an
  • IPA(key): /an/, /aːn/, /ɒːn/, /ɔːn/

Preposition

an

  1. on
  2. to, at

Inflection

Neither the spelling nor grammar of these forms applies to all, or even necessarily the majority, of dialects.

Adverb

an

  1. on

See also


Luxembourgish

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ɑn/
  • Rhymes: -ɑn

Etymology 1

From Old High German indi.

Conjunction

an

  1. and

Etymology 2

From Proto-Germanic *in.

Preposition

an

  1. in

Mandarin

Romanization

an

  1. Nonstandard spelling of ān.
  2. Nonstandard spelling of án.
  3. Nonstandard spelling of ǎn.
  4. Nonstandard spelling of àn.

Usage notes

  • English transcriptions of Mandarin speech often fail to distinguish between the critical tonal differences employed in the Mandarin language, using words such as this one without the appropriate indication of tone.

Middle Dutch

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /an/

Preposition

an

  1. Alternative form of ane (sense "on")

Middle English

Etymology 1

From Old English in.

Alternative forms

Preposition

an

  1. in

Descendants

  • English: in

Etymology 2

From Old English and, ond, end.

Alternative forms

Conjunction

an

  1. and

Descendants


Middle French

Etymology

From Old French an, from Latin annus.

Noun

an m (plural ans)

  1. year

Descendants

  • French: an

Middle Welsh

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ən/

Determiner

an

  1. Alternative form of yn

Mirandese

Etymology

From Latin in.

Preposition

an

  1. in
  2. on

Norman

Etymology

From Old French an, from Latin annus.

Pronunciation

Noun

an m (plural ans)

  1. (Guernsey, Jersey) year

Synonyms

Derived terms

  • Jour dé l'An (New Year's Day)
  • Nouvel An (New Year)
  • tchu d'l'an (last day of the year)

Novial

Preposition

an

  1. at, on, next to or contiguous with something

Occitan

Etymology

From Old Provençal an, from Latin annus.

Noun

an m (plural ans)

  1. year

Usage notes

  • Also used with the verb aver (to have) to indicate age

Old English

Etymology

From Proto-Germanic *ainaz, from Proto-Indo-European *óynos. Germanic cognates include Old Frisian ān, Old Saxon ēn, Dutch een, Old High German ein (German ein), Old Norse einn (Swedish en), Gothic 𐌰𐌹𐌽𐍃 (ains). The Indo-European root is also the source of Latin ūnus, Ancient Greek οἶος (oîos), Old Irish oen.

Pronunciation

Numeral

ān

  1. (cardinal) one

Usage notes

As in modern English, usage doubles as both a numeral and a pronoun.

Article

ān

  1. a; an (indefinite article)

Adjective

ān

  1. lone
  2. sole

Derived terms

Descendants


Old French

Etymology

From Latin annus.

Noun

an m (oblique plural anz, nominative singular anz, nominative plural an)

  1. year

Related terms

  • anee

Descendants

  • Middle French: an
    • French: an
  • Norman: an

Old Irish

Pronoun

an (triggers eclipsis, takes a leniting relative clause)

  1. Alternative form of a
    • c. 875, Milan Glosses on the Psalms, published in Thesaurus Palaeohibernicus (reprinted 1987, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies), edited and with translations by Whitley Stokes and John Strachan, vol. I, pp. 7–483, Ml. 112b13
      Is demniu liunn a n-ad·chiam hua sulib ol·daas an ro·chluinemmar hua chluasaib.
      What we see with the eyes is more certain for us than what we hear with the ears.

Old Provençal

Etymology

From Latin annus (year).

Noun

an m (oblique plural ans, nominative singular ans, nominative plural an)

  1. year

Descendants

  • Catalan: any
  • Occitan: an

Old Saxon

Preposition

an

  1. on, in

Romanian

Etymology

From Latin annus (year), from Proto-Italic *atnos, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂et-no-, probably from *h₂et- (to go).

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): [an]

Noun

an m (plural ani)

  1. year

Declension

Derived terms


Romansch

Alternative forms

  • (Rumantsch Grischun, Sursilvan, Surmiran) onn
  • (Sutsilvan, Vallader) on

Etymology

From Latin annus.

Noun

an m (plural ans)

  1. (Puter) year

Scots

Alternative forms

Conjunction

an

  1. and

Derived terms


Scottish Gaelic

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /an/, /ən/

Etymology 1

From Old Irish a.

Pronoun

an

  1. their
Usage notes
  • This form of possessive pronoun is not used before nouns beginning with b, f, m or p, where am is used instead.

Etymology 2

From Old Irish i.

Preposition

an

  1. in
Usage notes
  • This form is not used before nouns beginning with b, f, m or p, where ann am is used instead.
Synonyms
Derived terms
  • The following prepositional pronouns:
Person Number Prepositional pronoun Prepositional pronoun (emphatic)
Singular 1st annam annamsa
2nd annad annadsa
3rd m ann annsan
3rd f innte inntese
Plural 1st annainn annainne
2nd annaibh annaibhse
3rd annta anntasan

Etymology 3

From Old Irish in.

Article

an

  1. the
Usage notes

This is the most common singular form. The most common plural form is na. For other forms and their specific uses, see pages listed in "See also" below.

See also

References

  • Faclair Gàidhlig Dwelly Air Loidhne, Dwelly, Edward (1911), Faclair Gàidhlig gu Beurla le Dealbhan/The Illustrated [Scottish] Gaelic-English Dictionary (10th ed.), Edinburgh: Birlinn Limited, ISBN 0 901771 92 9
  • 2 a” in Dictionary of the Irish Language, Royal Irish Academy, 1913–76.
  • i” in Dictionary of the Irish Language, Royal Irish Academy, 1913–76.
  • in” in Dictionary of the Irish Language, Royal Irish Academy, 1913–76.

Swedish

Adverb

an

  1. used as a verb particle, similar to German preposition an (at, in, on, to)

Related terms

  • gå an
  • komma an
  • lägga an
  • ta sig an

Preposition

an

  1. (accounting) to

Torres Strait Creole

Etymology

From English hand.

Noun

an

  1. hand, lower arm
  2. flipper

Turkish

Etymology

From Arabic آن (ʾān).

Noun

an (definite accusative anı, plural anlar)

  1. moment

Declension


Vietnamese

Etymology

Sino-Vietnamese word from (“tranquil”)

Pronunciation

Adjective

an

  1. safe, secure

Synonyms

Derived terms

  • bình an


Vilamovian

Pronunciation

Conjunction

an

  1. and

Related terms

Numeral

ān

  1. (cardinal) one

Related terms