- the ninth letter of the English alphabet, a vowel.
- any spoken sound represented by the letter I or i, as in big, nice, or ski.
- something having the shape of an I.
- a written or printed representation of the letter I or i.
- a device, as a printer's type, for reproducing the letter I ori.
- Also called imaginary unit. the imaginary number .
- a unit vector on the x-axis of a coordinate system.
- interstate (used with a number to designate an interstate highway): I-95.
- the nominative singular pronoun, used by a speaker in referring to himself or herself.
- (used to denote the narrator of a literary work written in the first person singular).
- Metaphysics. the ego.
Origin of I
- Symbol, Physics. isotopic spin.
- variant of y-.
- Island; Islands.
- Isle; Isles.
- the typical ending of the first element of compounds of Latin words, as -o- is of Greek words, but often used in English with a first element of any origin, if the second element is of Latin origin: cuneiform; Frenchify.
- a very small quantity; jot; whit.
- the ninth letter of the Greek alphabet (I, ι).
- the vowel sound represented by this letter.
Origin of iota
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- the ninth letter and third vowel of the modern English alphabet
- any of several speech sounds represented by this letter, in English as in bite or hit
- something shaped like an I
- (in combination)an I-beam
- dot the i's and cross the t's to pay meticulous attention to detail
- the imaginary number √–1Also called: j
- (subjective) refers to the speaker or writer
- Italy (international car registration)
- Island or Isle
- the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet (Ι, ι), a vowel or semivowel, transliterated as i or j
- (usually used with a negative) a very small amount; jot (esp in the phrase not one or an iota)
- used between elements in a compound wordcuneiform; coniferous Compare -o-
Word Origin and History for i
12c. shortening of Old English ic, first person singular nominative pronoun, from Proto-Germanic *ekan (cf. Old Frisian ik, Old Norse ek, Norwegian eg, Danish jeg, Old High German ih, German ich, Gothic ik), from PIE *eg-, nominative form of the first person singular pronoun (cf. Sanskrit aham, Hittite uk, Latin ego (source of French Je), Greek ego, Russian ja, Lithuanian aš). Reduced to i by mid-12c. in northern England, it began to be capitalized mid-13c. to mark it as a distinct word and avoid misreading in handwritten manuscripts.
The reason for writing I is ... the orthographic habit in the middle ages of using a 'long i' (that is, j or I) whenever the letter was isolated or formed the last letter of a group; the numeral 'one' was written j or I (and three iij, etc.), just as much as the pronoun. [Otto Jespersen, "Growth and Structure of the English Language," p.233]
The form ich or ik, especially before vowels, lingered in northern England until c.1400 and survived in southern dialects until 18c. The dot on the "small" letter -i- began to appear in 11c. Latin manuscripts, to distinguish the letter from the stroke of another letter (such as -m- or -n-). Originally a diacritic, it was reduced to a dot with the introduction of Roman type fonts.
"very small amount," 1630s, figurative use of iota, ninth and smallest letter in the Greek alphabet. Modern use is after Matt. v:18 (see jot), but iota in classical Greek also was proverbially used of anything very small. The letter name is from Semitic (cf. Hebrew yodh).
- The ninth letter of the Greek alphabet.
- The number whose square is equal to -1. Numbers expressed in terms of i are called imaginary or complex numbers.
- The symbol for electric current.
- The symbol for iodine.
- A shiny, grayish-black element of the halogen group. It is corrosive and poisonous and occurs in very small amounts in nature except for seaweed, in which it is abundant. Iodine compounds are used in medicine, antiseptics, and dyes. Atomic number 53; atomic weight 126.9045; melting point 113.5°C; boiling point 184.35°C; specific gravity (solid, at 20°C) 4.93; valence 1, 3, 5, 7. See Periodic Table.
Idioms and Phrases with i
see not one iota.