- the 14th letter of the English alphabet, a consonant.
- any spoken sound represented by the letter N or n, as in now, dinner, son, etc.
- something having the shape of an N.
- a written or printed representation of the letter N or n.
- a device, as a printer's type, for reproducing the letter N or n.
- the 14th in order or in a series, or, when I is omitted, the 13th.
- (sometimes lowercase) the medieval Roman numeral for 90.Compare Roman numerals.
- Chemistry. nitrogen.
- Biochemistry. asparagine.
- Mathematics. an indefinite, constant whole number, especially the degree of a quantic or an equation, or the order of a curve.
- Chess. knight.
- Printing. en.
- Chemistry. Avogadro's number.
- neutron number.
Origin of an2
- an abbreviated form of normal, used in the names of hydrocarbon compounds that have a normal or straight chain of carbon atoms: n-3 fatty acid.
Origin of n.1
- and: Stop 'n save. Look 'n listen.
- variant of -an after a vowel: Virginian.
Related Wordsanimalculum, n, animalcule, moan, grumble, regret, lament, wish, whimper, yearn, mourn, murmur, mope, languish, fret
Examples from the Web for n
And people were going crazy until the movie hit and it was ‘n---a’ 110 times on Christmas.Jamie Foxx: Get Over the Black ‘Annie’
December 20, 2014
I harbor a rock ‘n’ roll fantasy, just like anybody, and I welcomed the challenge.Michael C. Hall on Going Drag for ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ and Exorcising ‘Dexter’
December 4, 2014
Kim was known for a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, as was Jordan Belfort, familiar to film lovers as the Wolf of Wall Street.The Zillionaires Who Lost Everything
October 26, 2014
Sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll have always been an integral part of her story.Sex, Drugs, and Kate Moss: Secrets of a Wild Supermodel
October 9, 2014
The depth of rage, animus and violence that was directed at him—“Spittle flying, the N word flying”—continues to astound him.NPR’s Smooth-Talking Millennial Whisperer
October 7, 2014
Now, I want you should listen 'cause I'm going to tell you jes' how it is n' then you'll understand.Pee-wee Harris
Percy Keese Fitzhugh
D--n the rogues; I thought at one time they had me in a category!Homeward Bound
James Fenimore Cooper
If it had n' been for me, she would n' have had any sohn 't all.
They were having har' times to get on, an' Arlt here could n' begin to carry the load.
"D——n you," croaked McGuire feebly, falling back in his chair.The Vagrant Duke
- the 14th letter and 11th consonant of the modern English alphabet
- a speech sound represented by this letter, usually an alveolar nasal, as in nail
- optics index of refraction
- an indefinite number (of)there are n objects in a box
- Also: kt chess knight
- chem nitrogen
- Avogadro's number
- Norway (international car registration)
- myth the Sumerian sky godBabylonian counterpart: Anu
- chem short for normal (def. 6)
- a form of the indefinite article used before an initial vowel soundan old car; an elf; an honour
- Netherlands Antilles
Word Origin and History for n
Other examples of this from Middle English manuscripts include a neilond ("an island," early 13c.), a narawe ("an arrow," c.1400), a nox ("an ox," c.1400), a noke ("an oak," early 15c.), a nappyle ("an apple," early 15c.), a negge ("an egg," 15c.). In 16c., an idiot sometimes became a nidiot, which, with still-common casual pronunciation, became nidget, which, alas, has not survived.
The process also worked in surnames, from oblique cases of Old English at "by, near," e.g. Nock/Nokes/Noaks from atten Oke "by the oak;" Nye from atten ye "near the lowland;" and cf. Nashville.
But it is more common for an English word to lose an -n- to a preceding a: apron, auger, adder, umpire, humble pie, etc. The mathematical use of n for "an indefinite number" is first recorded 1852, in to the nth power.
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.
- refractive index
- Abbreviation of newton
- The symbol for nitrogen.
- A nonmetallic element that makes up about 78 percent of the atmosphere by volume, occurring as a colorless, odorless gas. It is a component of all proteins, making it essential for life, and it is also found in various minerals. Nitrogen is used to make ammonia, nitric acid, TNT, and fertilizers. Atomic number 7; atomic weight 14.0067; melting point -209.86°C; boiling point -195.8°C; valence 3, 5. See Periodic Table. See Note at oxygen.