AN

Etymology

Derived from the first letters of army and navy.

Noun

AN (uncountable)

(military, US) A set of sizes for screw threads agreed upon and jointly used by the United States Army and Navy.

Anagrams

• N.A., N/A, NA, n.a., n/a, na

Etymology 1

Article

an

Form of a (all article senses).

Used before a vowel sound.

(now quite rare) Used before /h/ in an unstressed syllable.

(nonstandard) Used before /h/ in a stressed syllable.

(obsolete) Used before one and words with initial u, eu.

(nonstandard, British, West Country) Used before all consonants.

Usage notes

• In standard English, the article an is used before vowel sounds, while a is used before consonant sounds. Alternatively, an can be found before an unstressed syllable beginning with an h-sound, as in an historic. The h may then become silent or is at least very weakly articulated. This usage is favoured by only 6% of British speakers, and is only slightly more common in writing.

• Historically, an could also be found before one and many words with initial u, eu (now pronounced with initial /juː/, /jʊ/, /jə/), such as eunuch, unique, or utility. This is as these words formerly started with a vowel sound, though the writing of an before words spelt with initial u, eu continued up into the 19th century, long after these words had acquired initial consonant sounds in standard English.

• In the other direction, a can rarely be found before a vowel in nonstandard (often dialectal) speech and written representations thereof, as in "ain't this a innerestin sitchation" (Moira Young, Blood Red Road).

• The various article senses of a are all senses of an.

Numeral

an

(nonstandard, British, West Country) one

Etymology 2

Conjunction

an

(archaic) If

(archaic) So long as.

(archaic) As if; as though.

Etymology 3

Noun

an (plural ans)

The first letter of the Georgian alphabet, ა (Mkhedruli), Ⴀ (Asomtavruli) or ⴀ (Nuskhuri).

Etymology 4

Preposition

an

In each; to or for each; per.

Usage notes

• This is the same as the word a in such contexts, modified because of preceding an unpronounced h. The train was speeding along at a mile a minute.

Synonyms

• per

Anagrams

• N.A., N/A, NA, n.a., n/a, na

Proper noun

An

Alternative form of Anu

Anagrams

• N.A., N/A, NA, n.a., n/a, na

Source: Wiktionary



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