1

an

indefinite article \ ən , (ˈ)an \

Definition of an

:2a
  • an opera
  • an honor

a vs. an

In speech and writing a is used before a consonant sound.
    • a door
    • a human
Before a vowel sound an is usual
    • an icicle
    • an honor
but especially in speech a is used occasionally, more often in some dialects than in others.
    • a apple
    • a hour
    • a obligation
Before a consonant sound represented by a vowel letter a is usual
    • a one
    • a union
but an also occurs though less frequently now than formerly.
    • an unique
    • such an one
Before unstressed or weakly stressed syllables with initial h both a and an are used in writing.
    • a historic
    • an historic
In the King James Version of the Old Testament and occasionally in writing and speech an is used before h in a stressed syllable.
    • an huntress
    • an hundred
    • children are an heritage of the Lord
    • —Psalms 127:3 (King James Version)


Origin and Etymology of an

Middle English, from Old English ān one — more at one


2

an

preposition \ ən , an \

Definition of an

:3a 2
  • sixty miles an hour

a vs. an

In speech and writing a is used before a consonant sound.
    • a door
    • a human
Before a vowel sound an is usual
    • an icicle
    • an honor
but especially in speech a is used occasionally, more often in some dialects than in others.
    • a apple
    • a hour
    • a obligation
Before a consonant sound represented by a vowel letter a is usual
    • a one
    • a union
but an also occurs though less frequently now than formerly.
    • an unique
    • such an one
Before unstressed or weakly stressed syllables with initial h both a and an are used in writing.
    • a historic
    • an historic
In the King James Version of the Old Testament and occasionally in writing and speech an is used before h in a stressed syllable.
    • an huntress
    • an hundred
    • children are an heritage of the Lord
    • —Psalms 127:3 (King James Version)


Origin and Etymology of an

see 1an


3

an

conjunction
variants: or an'

Definition of an

1 \ see and\ :and
2 play \ˈan\ archaic :if

First Known Use of an

12th century


4

an

abbreviation

Definition of an

year

Origin and Etymology of an

Latin annum; annus


an-

Definition of an-

— see 2a-

1

-an

noun suffix
variants: or -ian or less commonly -ean

Definition of -an

1 :one that is of or relating to
  • American
2 :one skilled in or specializing in
  • phonetician

Origin and Etymology of -an

-an & -ian from Middle English -an, -ian, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French -ien, from Latin -ianus, from -i- + -anus, from -anus, adjective suffix; -ean from such words as Mediterranean, European


2

-an

adjective suffix
variants: or -ian or less commonly -ean

Definition of -an

1 :of or belonging to
  • American
  • Floridian
2 :characteristic of :resembling
  • Mozartean

3

-an

noun suffix

Definition of -an

1 :unsaturated organic compound
  • furan
2 :anhydride of a carbohydrate
  • dextran

Origin and Etymology of -an

International Scientific Vocabulary -an, -ane, alteration of -ene, -ine, & -one


AN

abbreviation

Definition of AN

airman (Navy)

AN Defined for English Language Learners

-an

adjective suffix

Definition of -an for English Language Learners

  • : of or belonging to

  • : characteristic of : resembling


AN Defined for Kids

an

indefinite article \ ən , an \

Definition of an for Students

:2a Hint: An is used before words beginning with a vowel sound.
  • an oak
  • an hour

1

-an

noun suffix \ ən \
variants: or -ian also -ean \ē-ən, yən, ən\

Definition of -an for Students

1 :one that belongs to
  • American
2 :one skilled in or specializing in
  • magician

2

-an

adjective suffix
variants: or -ian also -ean

Definition of -an for Students

1 :of or relating to
  • American
2 :like :resembling


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