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Symbol, Mathematics.
an unknown quantity.
(in Cartesian coordinates) the y-axis.
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Question 1 of 7
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Other definitions for y (2 of 10)


or y

[ wahy ]
/ waɪ /

noun, plural Y's or Ys, y's or ys.
the 25th letter of the English alphabet, a semivowel.
any spoken sound represented by the letter Y or y, as in yet, city, or rhythm.
something having the shape of a Y.
a written or printed representation of the letter Y or y.
a device, as a printer's type, for reproducing the letter Y or y.

Other definitions for y (3 of 10)

[ wahy ]
/ waɪ /

the Y, Informal. the YMCA, YWCA, YMHA, or YWHA.

Other definitions for y (4 of 10)



Other definitions for y (5 of 10)


the 25th in order or in a series.
(sometimes lowercase) the medieval Roman numeral for 150.Compare Roman numerals.
Electricity. admittance (def. 4). Sometimes y
Chemistry. yttrium.
Biochemistry. tyrosine.

Other definitions for y (6 of 10)


a prefix occurring in certain obsolete words (ywis) and especially in archaic past participles: yclad.
Also i- .

Origin of y-

Middle English y-, i- (reduced variant a-), Old English ge-, prefix with perfective, intensifying, or collective force; cognate with Old Frisian, Old Saxon ge-, gi-,Gothic ga-,German ge-; compare perhaps Latin com-com-

Other definitions for y (7 of 10)


a native English suffix of adjectives meaning “characterized by or inclined to” the substance or action of the word or stem to which the suffix is attached: juicy; grouchy; rumbly; dreamy. Sometimes used to mean “allowing, fostering, or bringing about” the specified action: sippy.
Also -ey1.

Origin of -y

Old English -ig; cognate with German -ig; compare perhaps Latin -icus, Greek -ikos

Other definitions for y (8 of 10)


a noun-forming suffix with a variety of functions in contemporary English, added to monosyllabic bases to create words that are almost always informal. Its earliest use, probably still productive, was to form endearing or familiar names or common nouns from personal names, other nouns, and adjectives (Billy; Susie; birdie; doggie; granny; sweetie; tummy). The hypocoristic feature is absent in recent coinages, however, which are simply informal and sometimes pejorative (boonies; cabby; groupie; hippy; looie; Okie; preemie; preppy; rookie). Another function of -y2 (-ie ) is the formation from adjectives of nouns that denote exemplary or extreme instances of the quality named by the adjective (baddie; biggie; cheapie; toughie), sometimes focusing on a restricted, usually unfavorable sense of the adjective (sharpie; sickie; whitey). A few words in which the informal character of -y2 (-ie ) has been lost are now standard in formal written English (goalie; movie).
Also -ie .
Compare -o, -sy.

Origin of -y

From late Middle English (Scots), originally in names; of uncertain origin; baby and puppy, now felt as having this suffix, may be of different derivation

Other definitions for y (9 of 10)


a suffix of various origins used in the formation of action nouns from verbs (inquiry), also found in other abstract nouns: carpentry; infamy.

Origin of -y

Representing Latin -ia, -ium;Greek -ia, -eia, -ion;French -ie;German -ie

Other definitions for y (10 of 10)


yard; yards.
year; years.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use y in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for y (1 of 8)



/ (waɪ) /

noun plural y's, Y's or Ys
the 25th letter of the modern English alphabet
a speech sound represented by this letter, in English usually a semivowel, as in yawn, or a vowel, as in symbol or shy
  1. something shaped like a Y
  2. (in combination)a Y-cross

British Dictionary definitions for y (2 of 8)

/ maths /

symbol for
the y- axis or a coordinate measured along the y- axis in a Cartesian coordinate system
an algebraic variable

British Dictionary definitions for y (3 of 8)


symbol for
any unknown, unspecified, or variable factor, number, person, or thing
chem yttrium
  1. yen
  2. yuan

British Dictionary definitions for y (4 of 8)



suffix forming adjectives
(from nouns) characterized by; consisting of; filled with; relating to; resemblingsunny; sandy; smoky; classy
(from verbs) tending to; acting or existing as specifiedleaky; shiny

Word Origin for -y

from Old English -ig, -ǣg

British Dictionary definitions for y (5 of 8)


-ie or -ey

suffix informal
denoting smallness and expressing affection and familiaritya doggy; a granny; Jamie
a person or thing concerned with or characterized by beinga groupie; a fatty

Word Origin for -y

C14: from Scottish -ie, -y, familiar suffix occurring originally in names, as in Jamie (James)

British Dictionary definitions for y (6 of 8)


suffix forming nouns
(from verbs) indicating the act of doing what is indicated by the verbal elementinquiry
(esp with combining forms of Greek, Latin, or French origin) indicating state, condition, or qualitygeography; jealousy

Word Origin for -y

from Old French -ie, from Latin -ia

British Dictionary definitions for y (7 of 8)


abbreviation for

British Dictionary definitions for y (8 of 8)


abbreviation for
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

Scientific definitions for y


The symbol for yttrium.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.