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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for a.m.
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • By eleven, a.m., we were twenty miles inside the outer cape.

    Left on Labrador

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

    Letters of Edward FitzGerald Edward FitzGerald
  • I was allowed to go about 10 a.m. on the 25th, and rejoined my regiment.

    The War in South Africa

    Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Three twenty-two and a half a.m. saw the last fraction of it vanish.

    The Ultimate Weapon John Wood Campbell
  • One more signal, and all the a.m.'s run clear of the Aeroplane.

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.

in hours, 1762, abbreviation of Latin ante meridiem "before noon."

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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