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90s Slang You Should Know


before noon.
the period from midnight to noon, especially the period of daylight prior to noon:
Shall we meet Saturday a.m.?
a morning newspaper, sometimes issued shortly before midnight.
Compare p.m
Origin of a.m.
From the Latin word ante merīdiem
Usage note
The abbreviation a.m. for Latin ante meridiem, meaning “before noon,” refers to the period from midnight until noon. One minute before noon is 11:59 a.m. One minute after noon is 12:01 p.m. Many people distinguish between noon and midnight by saying 12 noon and 12 midnight. Expressions combining a.m. with morning (6 a.m. in the morning) and p.m. with afternoon, evening, or night (9 p.m. at night) are redundant and occur most often in casual speech and writing. Both a.m. and p.m. sometimes appear in capital letters, especially in printed matter.


Master of Arts.
From the Latin word Artium Magister

A and M

or A&M

Agricultural and Mechanical (college):
Texas A and M. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for a.m.
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • By 10 a.m. a retiring French battalion marched through, and reported that the line was again being withdrawn.

    Pushed and the Return Push George Herbert Fosdike Nichols, (AKA Quex)
  • By eleven, a.m., we were twenty miles inside the outer cape.

    Left on Labrador Charles Asbury Stephens
  • At seven o'clock, a.m. of that day, they were aroused from a lethargy by the cheering cry of the steersman, "there's a sail!"

  • My train is to be 11 a.m. from Shoreditch; which gets to Ipswich about two?

    Letters of Edward FitzGerald Edward FitzGerald
  • There was a nice breeze from the eastward at 10 a.m., and like a flight of swans the yachts were away together.

    Yachting Vol. 2 Various.
British Dictionary definitions for a.m.


abbreviation (indicating the time period from midnight to midday)
ante meridiem Compare p.m.
Word Origin
Latin: before noon
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for a.m.

also AM, type of radio wave broadcast; see amplitude.

also AM, type of radio wave broadcast; see amplitude.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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