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an1

[uh n; when stressed an]
indefinite article
  1. the form of a before an initial vowel sound (an arch; an honor) and sometimes, especially in British English, before an initial unstressed syllable beginning with a silent or weakly pronounced h: an historian.
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Origin of an1

before 950; Middle English; Old English ān one in a weakened sense

Usage note

See a1.

an2

[uh n; when stressed an]
conjunction
  1. Pronunciation Spelling. and.
  2. Archaic. if.
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Also an', 'n, 'n'.

Origin of an2

1125–75; Middle English, unstressed phonetic variant of and

An

[ahn]
noun
  1. the Sumerian god of heaven: the counterpart of the Akkadian Anu.
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An

Symbol, Chemistry.
  1. actinon.
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AN

or A.-N.

  1. Anglo-Norman.
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an-1

  1. a prefix occurring before stems beginning with a vowel or h in loanwords from Greek, where it means “not,” “without,” “lacking” (anarchy; anecdote); used in the formation of compound words: anelectric.
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Also before a consonant, a-.

Origin of an-1

< Greek. See a-6, in-3, un-1

an-2

  1. variant of ad- before n: announce.
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an-3

  1. variant of ana- before a vowel: anion.
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an.

  1. in the year.
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Origin of an.

From the Latin word annō

A.N.

  1. Anglo-Norman.
  2. Associate in Nursing.
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-an

  1. a suffix occurring originally in adjectives borrowed from Latin, formed from nouns denoting places (Roman; urban) or persons (Augustan), and now productively forming English adjectives by extension of the Latin pattern. Attached to geographic names, it denotes provenance or membership (American; Chicagoan; Tibetan), the latter sense now extended to membership in social classes, religious denominations, etc., in adjectives formed from various kinds of noun bases (Episcopalian; pedestrian; Puritan; Republican) and membership in zoological taxa (acanthocephalan; crustacean). Attached to personal names, it has the additional senses “contemporary with” (Elizabethan; Jacobean) or “proponent of” (Hegelian; Freudian) the person specified by the noun base. The suffix -an, and its variant -ian also occurs in a set of personal nouns, mainly loanwords from French, denoting one who engages in, practices, or works with the referent of the base noun (comedian; grammarian; historian; theologian); this usage is especially productive with nouns ending in -ic (electrician; logician; technician). See -ian for relative distribution with that suffix.
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Compare -enne, -ean, -arian, -ician.

Origin of -an

Middle English < Latin -ānus, -āna, -ānum; in some words replacing -ain, -en < Old French < Latin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for an

an1

determiner
  1. a form of the indefinite article used before an initial vowel soundan old car; an elf; an honour
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Word Origin

Old English ān one

usage

An was formerly often used before words that begin with h and are unstressed on the first syllable: an hotel; an historic meeting . Sometimes the initial h was not pronounced. This usage is now becoming obsolete

an2

an'

conjunction
  1. (subordinating) an obsolete or dialect word for if See and (def. 9)
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an3

the internet domain name for
  1. Netherlands Antilles
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An1

noun
  1. myth the Sumerian sky godBabylonian counterpart: Anu
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An2

the chemical symbol for
  1. actinon
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AN

abbreviation for
  1. Anglo-Norman
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an-

before a consonant a-

prefix
  1. not; withoutanaphrodisiac
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Word Origin

from Greek

-an

-ean or -ian

suffix
  1. (forming adjectives and nouns) belonging to or relating to; a person belonging to or coming fromEuropean
  2. (forming adjectives and nouns) typical of or resembling; a person typical ofElizabethan
  3. (forming adjectives and nouns) adhering to or following; an adherent ofChristian
  4. (forming nouns) a person who specializes or is expert indietitian; phonetician
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Word Origin

from Latin -ānus, suffix of adjectives
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 an

indefinite article before words beginning with vowels, 12c., from Old English an (with a long vowel) "one; lone," also used as a prefix an- "single, lone;" see one for the divergence of that word from this. Also see a, of which this is the older, fuller form.

In other European languages, identity between indefinite article and the word for "one" remains explicit (e.g. French un, German ein, etc.) Old English got by without indefinite articles: He was a good man in Old English was he wæs god man. Circa 15c., a and an commonly were written as one word with the following noun, which contributed to the confusion over how such words as newt and umpire ought to be divided (see N).

In Shakespeare, etc., an sometimes is a contraction of as if (a usage first attested c.1300), especially before it.

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an-

1

privative prefix, from Greek an-, "not, without," related to ne- and cognate with Sanskrit an-, Latin in-, Gothic and Old English un- (see un- (1)).

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-an

word-forming element meaning "pertaining to," from Latin -anus, in some cases via French -ain, -en.

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an-

2

form of Latin ad- before -n- (see ad-).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

an in Medicine

an-

pref.
  1. Variant ofa-