a Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “a” in the English Dictionary

"a" in British English

See all translations

adeterminer

uk   weak /ə/ strong //  us   /ə/  // (also an)

a determiner (NOT PARTICULAR)

A1 used before a ​noun to refer to a ​single thing or ​person that has not been ​mentioned before, ​especially when you are not referring to a ​particular thing or ​person: I've ​bought a ​car. She's got a ​boyfriend. There was a ​suddenloudnoise. What a ​shame that you couldn't go to the ​party. I ​heard a ​childcrying. Is he a ​friend of yours (= one of ​yourfriends)?A1 used to say what ​type of thing or ​person something or someone is: She ​wants to be a ​doctor when she ​grows up. This is a very ​mildcheese. Experts ​think the ​painting may be a Picasso (= by Picasso).A1 used to ​mean any or every thing or ​person of the ​type you are referring to: Can you ​ride a ​bike? A ​cheetah can ​runfaster than a ​lion. A ​teacherneeds to have a lot of ​patience. used before some uncountablenouns when you ​want to ​limittheirmeaning in some way, such as when ​describing them more ​completely or referring to one ​example of them: I only have a ​limitedknowledge of ​Spanish. He has a ​greatlove of ​music. There was a ​fierceness in her ​voice.A2 used before some ​nouns of ​action when referring to one ​example of the ​action: Take a ​look at this, Jez. I'm just going to have a ​snack. There was a ​knocking at the ​door.A2 used when referring to a ​unit or ​container of something, ​especially something you ​eat or ​drink: I'd ​love a ​coffee. All I had for ​lunch was a ​yogurt.A2 used before the first but not the second of two ​nouns that are referred to as one ​unit: a ​cup and ​saucer a ​knife and ​forkA2 used before some words that ​express a ​number or ​amount: a few ​days a ​bit of ​wool a lot of ​money used in ​front of a person's ​name when referring to someone who you do not ​know: There's a Ms Evans to ​see you. used in ​front of someone's ​familyname when they are a ​member of that ​family: Is that a Wilson over there? used before the ​name of a ​day or ​month to refer to one ​example of it: My ​birthday is on a ​Friday this ​year. It's been a very ​wetJune.
More examples

a determiner (ONE)

A1 one: a hundred a thousand a ​dozen There were three men and a woman.A2 used between a fraction and a ​unit of ​measurement: half a ​mile a ​quarter of a ​kilo three ​quarters of an ​hour six ​tenths of a secondA2 used when saying how often something ​happens in a ​certainperiod: Take one ​tablet three ​times a ​day. I ​swimonce a ​week.A2 used when saying how much someone ​earns or how much something ​costs in a ​certainperiod: She ​earns $100,000 a ​year. My ​plumbercharges £30 an ​hour. I ​pay £25 a ​week for my ​parkingpermit.

Anoun

a noun (ELECTRICITY)

written abbreviation for amp
(Definition of a from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"a" in American English

See all translations

apreposition

 us   /ə/

a preposition (EACH OR EVERY)

in or for each or every; per : Take one ​tablet three ​times a ​day. These ​shoescost $30 a ​pair.

Anoun

 us   //

a noun (LETTER)

[C] (plural A’s or a’s) (also a) the first ​letter of the ​Englishalphabet

a noun (MUSICAL NOTE)

music [C/U] (plural A’s or As) in Western ​music, the sixth ​note in the scale (= ​series of ​notes) that ​begins on the ​note C , or a set of ​notesbased on this ​note

a noun (MARK)

[C] (plural A’s or As) a ​mark that ​meansexcellent, given to something of the ​highestquality, esp. ​schoolwork: The ​teacher gave me an A for my ​essay.
(Definition of a from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Translations of “a”
in Korean 단수 명사 앞에 쓰임, 하나의, -당…
in Arabic أداة تَنْكير تَسْبِق الإسْم المُفْرَد, كُلّ, بادئة تَدلّ على المِهنة…
in Malaysian A, a, not muzik…
in French un, une, par…
in Russian неопределенный артикль, один, употребляется перед исчисл. сущ. в ед. числе и придает ему значение: 'любой…
in Chinese (Traditional) 非特指的, 一(個)(用於名詞前,表示未曾提及的,尤其是非特指或不想讓對方確切知道的事物或人), (表示人或物的類型)…
in Italian un, una, al…
in Turkish belirsiz tanım artıkeli, bir, her veya herbiri…
in Polish -, jeden, każdy…
in Spanish La letra ’’A’’, la, Diez…
in Vietnamese chữ cái A, nốt la, điểm A…
in Portuguese um, uma, por…
in Thai พยัญชนะตัวแรกในภาษาอังกฤษ, โน้ต“ลา” ในทางดนตรี, เกรดสูงสุดที่ให้กับนักเรียนหรือนักศึกษาในการส่งงานหรือในการสอบ…
in German ein/e, pro…
in Catalan un, una, cada…
in Japanese 1つの, 1人の, ~1つにつき…
in Chinese (Simplified) 非特指的, 一(个)(用于名词前,表示未曾提及的,尤其是非特指或不想让对方确切知道的事物或人), (表示人或物的类型)…
in Indonesian A…
What is the pronunciation of a?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day

harvest

to pick and collect crops, or to collect plants, animals, or fish to eat

Word of the Day

In London but at the station: prepositions for talking about travel
In London but at the station: prepositions for talking about travel
by Liz Walter,
September 02, 2015
Several readers have asked for information on prepositions, so I will start with a blog post that looks at an area where they are really important: travel. The first thing to remember is that we use to (and not ‘in’) after the verb go: We are going to London. I went to

Read More 

parklet noun
parklet noun
August 31, 2015
a public outdoor space that may be associated with a local business but where anyone can sit Pop-up cafes in NY are what’s actually called parklets in many other places around the country.

Read More