Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • The form of a used before words beginning with a vowel or with an unpronounced h: an elephant; an hour. See Usage Notes at a2, every.
  • conj. Archaic And if; if.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • Form, used before a vowel sound, of a
  • conj. If, so long as.
  • conj. as if; as though.
  • n. The first letter of the Georgian alphabet, ა (mkhedruli), Ⴀ (asomtavruli) or ⴀ (nuskhuri).
  • prep. In each; to or for each; per.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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.
  • conj. If; -- a word used by old English authors.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The indefinite article.
  • Coordinate use: And; same as and, A.
  • Conditional use: If; same as and, B.
  • An earlier form of on, retained until the last century in certain phrases, as an edge, an end, now only on edge, on end; in present use only as an unfelt prefix an- or reduced a-. See an-, a-.
  • A prefix of Anglo-Saxon origin, the same as on- and a-, occurring unfelt in anent, anon, anan, aneal, aneal, etc., and with accent in anvil (but in this and some other words perhaps originally and-: see an).
  • A prefix of Anglo-Saxon origin, a reduced form of and- (which see), occurring unfelt in answer.
  • A prefix of Latin origin, usually an assimilation of ad- before n-, as in annex, annul, announce, etc., but sometimes representing Latin in-, as in anoint, annoy.
  • A prefix of Latin origin, a reduced form of ambi-, occurring (unfelt in English) in ancile, ancipital, anfractuous, etc.
  • A prefix of Greek origin, the fuller form of - privative (a-) preserved before a vowel, as in anarchy, anarthrous, anecdote, anomaly, etc.
  • A prefix of Greek origin, the form of ana- before a vowel, as in anode.
  • A suffix of Latin origin, forming adjectives which are or may be also used as nouns.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an associate degree in nursing

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English ān, one.
Middle English, short for and, and, from Old English; see and.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English ān. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English an (Wiktionary)
From Georgian. (Wiktionary)
From the Old English preposition an/on. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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