Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A mark ( ¸ ) placed beneath the letter c, as in the spelling of the French word garçon, to indicate that the letter is to be pronounced (s).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. In the spelling of Catalan, French, Portuguese and some other languages, a mark sometimes placed under the letter c to indicate that it is pronounced /s/ rather than /k/, as in French menaçant and Portuguese almoço, and also used in various other languages to change the sounds of other letters.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A mark placed under the letter c [thus, ç], to show that it is to be sounded like s, as in façade.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A mark placed under the letter c (thus, ç), especially in French and Portuguese, and formerly in Spanish, before a, o, or u, to indicate that it is to be sounded like s, and not like k, as it usually is before those vowels.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a diacritical mark (,) placed below the letter c to indicate that it is pronounced as an s

Etymologies

Obsolete Spanish, diminutive of ceda, the letter z (so called because a small z was formerly written after a c, and later below it, to indicate that the normal hard c was to be pronounced as a sibilant, like s or z), from Late Latin zēta, zeta, from Greek; see zeta.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Spanish cedilla, from older zedilla ("little zed") (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • from seventh letter of the Phoenician alphabet - zen

    April 14, 2012

  • its name derives from being a miniature Z (zed in British English) - used to change the pronunciation of the letter C from hard to soft.

    August 17, 2008

  • Cedilla Accent: façade

    December 19, 2006