/ eI; e/ n (pl A's, a's / eIz; ez/) 1 the first letter of the English alphabet : `Ann' begins with (an) A/`A'. AnnA. 2 (music ) the sixth note in the scale of C major C. 3 academic mark indicating the highest standard of work : get (an) A/`A' in biology A. 4 (used to designate a range of standard paper sizes ): [attrib ] an A4 folder A4 297 x 210 mm. 5 (idm ) A1 / 7eI 5wQn; `e`wQn/(infml ) excellent; first rate ; ; : an 7A1 5dinner * I'm feeling A1, ie very well. . from A to B from one place to another : I don't care what a car looks like as long as it gets me from A to B. , . from A to Z from beginning to end; thoroughly ; : know a subject from A to Z .
/ E; E; strong form eI; e/ (also an / En; En; strong form An; An/) indef art (The form a is used before consonant sounds and the form an before vowel sounds. Both are used before [C], [Cgp] or [sing] ns that have not previously been made specific. a, an. .) 1 one : a man, hotel, girl, committee, unit, U-turn , , , , , U (Cf some men, hotels, girls, etc) * an egg, aunt, uncle, hour, X-ray, MP, L-plate , , , , X, , L (Cf some eggs, aunts, uncles, hours, etc) * I can only carry two at a time. . * There's a book on the table is that the one you want? --? 2 (used with an abstract n that is restricted by the phrase which follows it , ): There was still an abundance of food when we arrived. . * We're looking for someone with a good knowledge of German. . 3 any; every ; : A horse is a quadruped. . (Cf Horses are quadrupeds.) * An owl can see in the dark. . (Cf Owls can see...). 4 one single : He didn't tell us a thing about his holiday. . 5 (used with ns followed byof + possess det + n + 's + of +++ 's): a friend of my father's, ie one of my father's friends * a habit of Sally's, ie one of Sally's habits . 6 (used in front of two ns seen as a unit ): a cup and saucer * a knife and fork . 7 to or for each; per ; : 2 a gallon 2 * 800 words a day 800 * 50p a pound 50. 8 (often derog ) person like (sb) : My boss is a little Napoleon. . 9 (used with sb's name to show that the speaker does not know the person , ): Do we know a Tim Smith? ·? * A Mrs Green is waiting to see you. .* A Doctor Simpson telephoned. . 10 (used to show membership of a class ): My mother is a solicitor. . * My father is a Fulham supporter. . 11 painting, sculpture, etc by ..., : The painting my grandfather gave me turned out to be a Constable. .
NOTE ON USAGE : Note that the sound of the first letter of an abbreviation, not its spelling, determines the form and pronunciation of the article before it , , : an MP * an SRN * a UHF radio * the / TI; TI/ NSPCC * the / TE; TE/ USA.