noun (1), often capitalized, often attributive
\ ˈwī How to pronounce y (audio) \
plural y's or ys\ ˈwīz How to pronounce ys (audio) \

Definition of y

 (Entry 1 of 8)

1a : the 25th letter of the English alphabet
b : a graphic representation of this letter
c : a speech counterpart of orthographic y
2 : a graphic device for reproducing the letter y
3 : one designated y especially as the 25th in order or class or the second in order or class when x is made the first
4 : something shaped like the letter Y

Definition of y (Entry 2 of 8)

1 yard
2 year
\ ˈwī How to pronounce Y (audio) \

Definition of Y (Entry 3 of 8)

1 : ymca
2 : ywca

Definition of Y (Entry 4 of 8)

variants: or less commonly -ey \ ē ; in some dialects, especially British, Southern US, and New England, often  i but not shown at individual entries \

Definition of -y (Entry 5 of 8)

1a : characterized by : full of blossomy dirty muddy clayey
b : having the character of : composed of icy waxy
c : like : like that of homey wintry often with a disparaging connotationstagy
2a : tending or inclined to sleepy chatty
b : giving occasion for (specified) action teary
c : performing (specified) action curly
\ same \
plural -ies

Definition of -y (Entry 6 of 8)

1 : state : condition : quality beggary
2 : activity, place of business, or goods dealt with chandlery laundry
3 : whole body or group soldiery
plural -ies

Definition of -y (Entry 7 of 8)

: instance of a (specified) action entreaty inquiry

Definition of -y (Entry 8 of 8)

— see -ie

Examples of y in a Sentence

Noun (1) a word that starts with a y a word that starts with y

First Known Use of y

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

circa 1915, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for y

Adjective suffix

Middle English, from Old English -ig; akin to Old High German -īg -y, Latin -icus, Greek -ikos, Sanskrit -ika

Noun suffix (1)

Middle English -ie, from Anglo-French, from Latin -ia, from Greek -ia, -eia

Noun suffix (2)

Middle English -ie, from Anglo-French, from Latin -ium

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about y

Statistics for y

Last Updated

31 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for y

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for y

Financial Definition of Y

What It Is

Y is a ticker-symbol extension that signifies that a stock is an American Depository Receipt.

How It Works

Issued by U.S. banks, American Depository Receipts (ADRs) are certificates that represent shares of a foreign stock owned by the issuing bank. The foreign shares are usually held in custody overseas, but the certificates trade in the U.S. Through this system, a large number of foreign-based companies are actively traded on one of the three major U.S. equity markets (the NYSE, AMEX, or Nasdaq).

On the Nasdaq market, for example, the letter Y after the ticker (if its ticker were XYZC, an XYZ Company ADR would look like this: XYZC-Y) to denote that the security is an ADR.

Why It Matters

ADRs give U.S. investors the ability to easily purchase shares in foreign firms, and they are typically much more convenient and cost effective for domestic investors (versus purchasing stocks in overseas markets). And because many foreign firms are involved in industries and geographical markets where U.S. multinationals don't have a presence, investors often use ADRs to help diversify their portfolio on a much more global scale.

Accordingly, it is very important to understand what ticker extensions mean.

Source: Investing Answers

How to pronounce -y (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of y

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the 25th letter of the English alphabet
mathematics used to represent especially a second unknown quantity
used in the phrase x, y, and z to refer to the second thing in a group of three unnamed things

English Language Learners Definition of -y (Entry 2 of 2)

: full or having a lot of something
: having the qualities of something : made of or seeming to be made of something
: resembling something


noun, often capitalized
\ ˈwī How to pronounce y (audio) \
plural y's or ys\ ˈwīz \

Kids Definition of y

: the 25th letter of the English alphabet
variants: also -ey \ ē \
-ier; -iest

Kids Definition of -y

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1 : showing, full of, or made of dirty muddy icy
2 : like wintry
3 : devoted to : enthusiastic about
4 : tending to sleepy
5 : somewhat : rather chilly
\ ē\
plural -ies

Kids Definition of -y (Entry 2 of 5)

1 : state : condition : quality jealousy
2 : activity, place of business, or goods dealt with laundry
3 : whole body or group
plural -ies

Kids Definition of -y (Entry 3 of 5)

: occasion or example of a specified action entreaty inquiry


Kids Definition of -y (Entry 4 of 5)

see -ie

Keep scrolling for more

Medical Definition of Y


More from Merriam-Webster on y

Spanish Central: Translation of y

Nglish: Translation of y for Spanish Speakers

Comments on y

What made you want to look up y? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a calculated move

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!