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the ash, an early English ligature representing a vowel sound like that of a in modern bad. The long ǣ continued in use until about 1250, but was finally replaced by e. The short æ was given up by 1150, being replaced usually by a but sometimes by e.


or AE, A.E

pen name of George William Russell.


or æ

a digraph or ligature appearing in Latin and Latinized Greek words. In English words of Latin or Greek origin, ae is now usually represented by e, except generally in proper names (Caesar), in words belonging to Roman or Greek antiquities (aegis), and in modern words of scientific or technical use (aecium).


[ruhs-uh l] /ˈrʌs əl/
Bertrand (Arthur William), 3rd Earl, 1872–1970, English philosopher, mathematician, and author: Nobel Prize in literature 1950.
Charles Edward, 1860–1941, U.S. journalist, sociologist, biographer, and political leader.
Charles Taze
[teyz] /teɪz/ (Show IPA),
("Pastor Russell") 1852–1916, U.S. religious leader and publisher: founder of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Elizabeth Mary, Countess (Mary Annette Beauchamp"Elizabeth") 1866–1941, Australian novelist.
George William ("Æ") 1867–1935, Irish poet and painter.
Henry Norris, 1877–1957, U.S. astronomer.
John Russell, 1st Earl (Lord John Russell) 1792–1878, British statesman: prime minister 1846–52, 1865–66.
Lillian (Helen Louise Leonard) 1861–1922, U.S. singer and actress.
William Felton
[fel-tn] /ˈfɛl tn/ (Show IPA),
("Bill") born 1934, U.S. basketball player and coach.
Mount, a mountain in E California, in the Sierra Nevada. 14,088 feet (4294 meters).
a mountain in S central Alaska, in the Alaska Range. 11,670 feet (3557 meters).
a male given name. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for æ
Historical Examples
  • For ash, however, the actual character 'æ' represents the long vowel.

    Beowulf Unknown
  • It is used where capital forms have not been selected, as for æ.

    Pennsylvania Dutch S. S. Haldeman
  • Besides being the deliverer of his country from the ravages of the Danes, and the restorer of order and civil government, Æ.

  • Impressive and striking by a certain spiritual integrity, so to say, "Æ" unites gifts and faculties seldom combined.

    The Glories of Ireland Edited by Joseph Dunn and P.J. Lennox
  • The word “phæton” appears both with and without the æ ligature, and are retained as printed.

    The Old Pike Thomas B. Searight
  • The œ and æ ligatures in the text have been left as they appear in the original book.

  • It is believed that Æ´olus was a skillful astronomer who dwelt in a volcanic island.

    The Student's Mythology

    Catherine Ann White
  • Rhadamanthus judged the Asiatics, Æ´acus the Europeans; and when a very difficult case arose it was referred to Minos.

    The Student's Mythology

    Catherine Ann White
  • That the Dublin Strike and its consequences had a profound effect on later events, this quotation from "Æ" will show.

    Ireland Since Parnell Daniel Desmond Sheehan
  • The cavalry were divided into tur'mæ, consisting each of thirty men.

British Dictionary definitions for æ


a digraph in Latin representing either a native diphthong, as in æquus, or a Greek αι (ai) in Latinized spellings, as in æschylus: now usually written ae, or e in some words, such as demon
a ligature used in Old and early Middle English to represent the vowel sound of a in cat
a ligature used in modern phonetic transcription also representing the vowel sound a in cat


United Arab Emirates


(Scot) one; a single
Word Origin
from Old English ān


Bertrand (Arthur William), 3rd Earl. 1872–1970, British philosopher and mathematician. His books include Principles of Mathematics (1903), Principia Mathematica (1910–13) with A. N. Whitehead, Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy (1919), The Problems of Philosophy (1912), The Analysis of Mind (1921), and An Enquiry into Meaning and Truth (1940): Nobel prize for literature 1950
George William pen name æ. 1867–1935, Irish poet and journalist
Henry Norris. 1877–1957, US astronomer and astrophysicist, who originated one form of the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram
John, 1st Earl. 1792–1878, British statesman; prime minister (1846–52; 1865–66). He led the campaign to carry the 1832 Reform Act
Ken. 1927–2011, British film director. His films include Women in Love (1969), The Music Lovers (1970), The Boy Friend (1971), Valentino (1977), Gothic (1986), and The Rainbow (1989)
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 æ

symbol ultimately from Latin and used by scribes writing Old English for a vowel sound between "a" and "e;" generally replaced by -a- after the Conquest. The Latin symbol represented Greek -ai-, and when Latinate words flooded into English in the 16c., it reappeared with them, but only as an etymological device, and it was pronounced simply "e" and eventually reduced to that letter in writing (e.g. eon) in most cases except proper names: Cæsar, Æneas, Æsculapius, Æsop.


masc. proper name, from Old French rous-el, diminutive of rous "red," used as a personal name. See russet.


see æ. As a word, it can represent Old English æ "law," especially law of nature or God's law; hence "legal custom, marriage."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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æ in Science
American astronomer who studied binary stars and developed methods to calculate their mass and distances. Working independently of Ejnar Hertzsprung, Russell also demonstrated the relationship between types of stars and their absolute magnitude. This correlation is now known as the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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