Definition for H


is the eighth letter of the English Alphabet. It is properly the representative of the Chaldee, Syriac and Hebrew ח, which is the eighth letter in those alphabets. Its form is the same as the Greek Η eta. It is not strictly a vowel, nor an articulation; but the mark of a stronger breathing than that which precedes the utterance of any other letter. It is pronounced with an expiration of breath, which, preceding a vowel, is perceptible by the ear at a considerable distance. Thus harm and arm, hear and ear, heat and eat, are distinguished at almost any distance at which the voice can be beard. H is a letter sui generis, but as useful in forming and distinguishing words as any other. In our mother tongue, the Anglo-Saxon, and other Teutonic dialects, h sometimes represents the L. c, and the Gr. κ; as in horn, L. cornu, Gr. κερας; hide, G. haut, Sw. hud, D. huid, Dan. hud, L. cutis; Sax. hlinian, L. clino, Gr. κλινω, to lean; L. celo, to conceal, Sax. helan, G. hehlen, Dan. hæler. In Latin, h sometimes represents the Greek χ; as in halo, Gr. χαλαω; hio, χαω. In the modern European languages, it represents other guttural letters. In English, h is sometimes mute, as in honor, honest; also when united with g, as in right, fight, brought. In which, what, who, whom, and some other words in which it follows w, it is pronounced before it, hwich, hwat, &c. As a numeral in Latin, H denotes 200, and with a dash over it {H with super-macron} 200,000. As an abbreviation in Latin, H stands for homo, hæres, hora, &c.

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