WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
an1 /ən; when stressed æn/USA pronunciation   indefinite article. 
  1. Pronounsthe form of a used before an initial vowel sound:an arch, an honor, an hourly wage.
    Sometimes, esp. in British English, an is used before an initial h if the h is silent or weakly pronounced and the syllable is unstressed: "an hisˈtorian'';
    "an hisˈtoric event''.

an-1  ,
  • prefix.  an- is attached to roots or stems beginning with a vowel or h, and means "not;
    lacking'':anaerobic (= without oxygen); anonymous (= without name).Compare a-2.

  • -an1  ,suffix. -an has the general meaning "of, pertaining to, having qualities of''.
  • It is used to form adjectives and nouns from names of places or people, with the meanings:
    • being connected with a place: Chicago + -an → Chicagoan;
    • having membership in a group of: Episcopal + -(i)an → Episcopalian;
  • It is used to form adjectives with the meaning "of or like (someone);
    supporter or believer of'': Christ + -(i)an → Christian;
    + -(i)an → Freudian (= supporter of or believer in the theories of Sigmund Freud).
  • It is used to form nouns from words ending in -ic or -y, with the meaning "one who works with '': electric + -(i)an → electrician;
    + -an → comedian.

  • WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
    an1  (ən; when stressed an),USA pronunciation indefinite article.
    1. Pronounsthe form of  a before an initial vowel sound (an arch;
      an honor
      ) and sometimes, esp. in British English, before an initial unstressed syllable beginning with a silent or weakly pronounced h:an historian.
    • bef. 950; Middle English; Old English ān one in a weakened sense
      See  a 1.

    an2  (ən; when stressed an),USA pronunciation conj. 
    1. [Pron. Spelling.]and.
    2. [Archaic.]if.
    Also,  an', 'n, 'n'. 
    • Middle English, unstressed phonetic variant of and 1125–75

    An  (än),USA pronunciation n. 
    1. Chemistry, Eastern Religionsthe Sumerian god of heaven: the counterpart of the Akkadian Anu.

    an-1  ,
  • a prefix occurring before stems beginning with a vowel or h in loanwords from Greek, where it means "not,'' "without,'' "lacking'' (anarchy;
    used in the formation of compound words:anelectric.Also, before a consonant,a-. 
    • Greek. See a-6, in-3, un-1

    an-2  ,
  • var. of  ad- before n: announce.

  • an-3  ,
  • var. of  ana- before a vowel:anion.

  • -an  ,
  • a suffix occurring originally in adjectives borrowed from Latin, formed from nouns denoting places (Roman;
    ) 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;
    ), the latter sense now extended to membership in social classes, religious denominations, etc., in adjectives formed from various kinds of noun bases (Episcopalian;
    ) and membership in zoological taxa (acanthocephalan;
    ). Attached to personal names, it has the additional senses "contemporary with'' (Elizabethan;
    ) or "proponent of '' (Hegelian;
    ) 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;
    this usage is esp. productive with nouns ending in  -ic (electrician;
    ). See  -ian for relative distribution with that suffix. Cf. -enne, -ean, -arian, -ician.
    • Latin
    • Old French
    • Latin -ānus, -āna, -ānum; in some words replacing -ain, -en
    • Middle English

    AN  ,
  • Language VarietiesAnglo-Norman.
  • Also,  A.-N. 
    An  ,[Symbol, Chem.]
    1. actinon.

    an.  ,
  • in the year.
    • Latin annō

    A.N.  ,
  • Language VarietiesAnglo-Norman.
  • Associate in Nursing.

  • Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
    an /æn; (unstressed) ən/ determiner
    1. a form of the indefinite article used before an initial vowel sound: an old car, an elf, an honour
    Etymology: Old English ān one
    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

    an, an' /æn; (unstressed) ən/ conj
    1. (subordinating)
      an obsolete or dialect word for if
      See and
    WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
    an•a1  (anə, änə),USA pronunciation n. 
    1. a collection of miscellaneous information about a particular subject, person, place, or thing.
    2. an item in such a collection, as an anecdote, a memorable saying, etc.
    • independent use of -ana 1720–30

    an•a2  (anə),USA pronunciation adv. 
    1. (of ingredients in pharmaceutical prescriptions) in equal quantities;
      of each. Symbol: &aamacr;
      , āa
    • Greek aná of each
    • Medieval Latin
    • 1490–1500

  • a prefix in loanwords from Greek, where it means "up,'' "against,'' "back,'' "re-'':anabasis;
    used in the formation of compound words:anacardiaceous.
  • Also,[esp. before a vowel,] an-. 
    • Greek, combining form of aná; no necessary relation to on

  • a suffix that forms collective nouns denoting an assembly of items, as household objects, art, books, or maps, or a description of such items, as a bibliography, all of which are representative of or associated with the place, person, or period named by the stem:Americana;Shakespeareana;Victoriana.
  • Also,  -iana. 
    • Latin, neuter plural of -ānus -an

    1. American Newspaper Association.
    2. American Nurses Association.
    3. Association of National Advertisers.
    Also,  ANA 
    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
    AN abbreviation for
    1. Anglo-Norman
    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
    An /ɑːn/ n
    1. the Sumerian sky god
      Babylonian counterpart: Anu
    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
    -an, -ean, -ian suffix
    1. (forming adjectives and nouns) belonging to or relating to; a person belonging to or coming from: European
    2. (forming adjectives and nouns) typical of or resembling; a person typical of: Elizabethan
    3. (forming adjectives and nouns) adhering to or following; an adherent of: Christian
    4. (forming nouns) a person who specializes or is expert in: dietitian, phonetician
    Etymology: from Latin -ānus, suffix of adjectives
    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
    an-, (before a consonant)a- prefix
    1. not; without: anaphrodisiac
    Etymology: from Greek
    'an' also found in these entries:

    Forum discussions with the word(s) "an" in the title:

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