Simple Definition of ampersand
: a character & that is used for the word and
Full Definition of ampersand
: a character typically & standing for the word and
Did You Know?
Despite appearances, the history of ampersand owes nothing to amp or sand. The familiar character & derives from a symbol that was used in place of the Latin word et, which also means "and." In the late Middle Ages, single letters used as words-words like I-were, when spelled, incorporated into a phrase that clarified that they were in fact individual words. For I the phrase was I per se, I, which in Latin means I by itself (is the word) I. In early lists of the alphabet, Z was followed by the symbol &, which was rendered & per se, and, meaning "& by itself (is the word) and." Over the years, that phrase (which when spoken aloud was pronounced "and per se and") was shortened by English speakers to ampersand.
Origin of ampersand
alteration of and (&) per se and, literally, (the character) & by itself (is the word) and
First Known Use: 1835
Rhymes with ampersand
baby grand, bear a hand, beforehand, behindhand, bellyband, belly-land, borderland, bottomland, cap in hand, concert grand, confirmand, contraband, countermand, Damavand, Dixieland, ductless gland, eldest hand, fairyland, fatherland, force one's hand, forestland, four-in-hand, garage band, gastric gland, Gelderland, graduand, hand in hand, hand-to-hand, hand to hand, helping hand, high command, hinterland, Holy Land, Krugerrand, lotusland, meadowland, minute hand, motherland, Nagaland, narrowband, no-man's-land, on demand, one-man band, one-night stand, operand, ordinand, out of hand, overhand, overland, parlor grand, pastureland, promised land, prostate gland, public land, radicand, reprimand, Rio Grande, rubber band, running hand, saraband, secondhand, Swaziland, tableland, taxi stand, timberland, Togoland, try one's hand, underhand, undermanned, understand, wonderland, Zululand
AMPERSAND Defined for Kids
Definition of ampersand for Students
: a character & standing for the word and
Seen and Heard
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