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J, j

[jey]
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noun, plural J's or Js, j's or js.
  1. the tenth letter of the English alphabet, a consonant.
  2. any spoken sound represented by the letter J or j, as in just, major, or rajah.
  3. something having the shape of a J.
  4. a written or printed representation of the letter J or j.
  5. a device, as a printer's type, for reproducing the letter J or j.

j

Symbol.
  1. Mathematics. a unit vector on the y-axis of a coordinate system.
  2. Engineering. the imaginary number .

J

  1. Jewish.
  2. Physics. joule; joules.Also j

J

Symbol.
  1. the tenth in order or in a series, or, when I is omitted, the ninth.
  2. (sometimes lowercase) the medieval Roman numeral for 1.

J.

  1. Cards. Jack.
  2. Journal.
  3. Judge.
  4. Justice.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for j

j

symbol for
  1. maths the unit vector along the y -axis
  2. Also called: i obsolete the imaginary number √–1

j

J

noun plural j's, J's or Js
  1. the tenth letter and seventh consonant of the modern English alphabet
  2. a speech sound represented by this letter, in English usually a voiced palato-alveolar affricate, as in jam

J

symbol for
  1. cards jack
  2. joule(s)
  3. current density
abbreviation for
  1. Japan (international car registration)
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

Word Origin and History for j

J

the letter is a late modification of Roman -i-, originally a scribal creation in continental Medieval Latin to distinguish small -i- in cursive writing from the strokes of other letters, especially in the final positions of words. But in English, -y- was used for this, and -j- was introduced c.1600-1640 to take up the consonantal sound that had evolved from -i- since Late Latin times. This usage first was attested in Spanish, where it was in place before 1600. English dictionaries continued to lump together words beginning in -i- and -j- until 19c., and -j- formerly was skipped when letters were used to express serial order.

Used in modern writing to represent Latin -i- before a, e, o, u in the same syllable, which in Latin was sounded as the consonant in Modern English you, yam, etc., but the custom is controversial among Latinists:

The character J, j, which represents the letter sound in some school-books, is an invention of the seventeenth century, and is not found in MSS., nor in the best texts of the Latin authors. [Lewis]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

j in Medicine

J

abbr.
  1. joule
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

j in Science

J

  1. Abbreviation of joule
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.