\ ən, (ˈ)an How to pronounce an (audio) \

Definition of an

 (Entry 1 of 9)

: a entry 2 an opera an honor
\ ən, (ˌ)an How to pronounce an (audio) \

Definition of an (Entry 2 of 9)

: a entry 3 sense 2 sixty miles an hour
variants: or an'

Definition of an (Entry 3 of 9)

1 \ see  and \ : and
2 \ ˈan How to pronounce an (audio) \ archaic : if

Definition of an (Entry 4 of 9)




Definition of an- (Entry 5 of 9)

— see a- entry 2
variants: or -ian or less commonly -ean

Definition of -an (Entry 6 of 9)

1 : one that is of or relating to American
2 : one skilled in or specializing in phonetician
variants: or -ian or less commonly -ean

Definition of -an (Entry 7 of 9)

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

Definition of -an (Entry 8 of 9)

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

Definition of AN (Entry 9 of 9)

airman (Navy)

A vs. an: Usage Guide

Indefinite article

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)

First Known Use of an

Indefinite article

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for an

Indefinite article

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


Middle English an, on, going back to Old English a-, an, on — more at on entry 1

Abbreviation (1)

Latin annum; annus

Noun suffix (1)

-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

Noun suffix (2)

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

Learn More About an

Time Traveler for an

Time Traveler

The first known use of an was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near an




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Statistics for an

Cite this Entry

“An.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/an. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for an


indefinite article
\ ən How to pronounce an (audio) , an \

Kids Definition of an

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


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

Kids Definition of -an

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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


adjective suffix
variants: or -ian also -ean

Kids Definition of -an (Entry 2 of 3)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on an

Nglish: Translation of an for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of an for Arabic Speakers


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