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

  • n. The third letter of the modern English alphabet.
  • n. Any of the speech sounds represented by the letter c.
  • n. The third in a series.
  • n. Something shaped like the letter C.
  • n. The third best or third highest in quality or rank: a mark of C on a term paper.
  • n. Music The first tone in the scale of C major or the third tone in the relative minor scale.
  • n. Music A key or scale in which the tone of C is the tonic.
  • n. Music A written or printed note representing this tone.
  • n. Music A string, key, or pipe tuned to the pitch of this tone.
  • abbr. Physics candle
  • abbr. carat
  • abbr. charm quark
  • abbr. circumference
  • abbr. Mathematics constant
  • abbr. cubic

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The third letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.
  • n. voiceless palatal plosive.
  • n. cardinal number one hundred (100).
  • n. The speed of light, 2.99792458 × 108 m/s.
  • n. The third letter of the English alphabet, called cee and written in the Latin script.
  • n. The ordinal number third, derived from this letter of the English alphabet, called cee and written in the Latin script.
  • n. The middle tone in either one of the sets of seven white keys on a keyboard or a set of seven strings on a stringed instrument.
  • n. The speed of light as a unit of speed, exactly 2.99792458 × 108 m/s.
  • abbr. Alternative form of c..

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • C is the third letter of the English alphabet. It is from the Latin letter C, which in old Latin represented the sounds of k, and g (in go); its original value being the latter. In Anglo-Saxon words, or Old English before the Norman Conquest, it always has the sound of k. The Latin C was the same letter as the Greek Γ, γ, and came from the Greek alphabet. The Greeks got it from the Phœnicians. The English name of C is from the Latin name ce, and was derived, probably, through the French. Etymologically C is related to g, h, k, q, s (and other sibilant sounds). Examples of these relations are in L. acutus, E. acute, ague; E. acrid, eager, vinegar; L. cornu, E. horn; E. cat, kitten; E. coy, quiet; L. circare, OF. cerchier, E. search.
  • The keynote of the normal or “natural” scale, which has neither flats nor sharps in its signature; also, the third note of the relative minor scale of the same.
  • C after the clef is the mark of common time, in which each measure is a semibreve (four fourths or crotchets); for alla breve time it is written �.
  • The “C clef,” a modification of the letter C, placed on any line of the staff, shows that line to be middle C.
  • As a numeral, C stands for Latin centum or 100, CC for 200, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • The third letter and second consonant in the English, as in general in the other alphabets derived from the Phenician.
  • As a numeral, in the Roman system, C stands for 100, and is repeated up to CCCC, 400 (followed by D, 500).
  • As a symbol:
  • As an abbreviation, c. or C. stands, in dental formulas of zoölogy (c.), for canine tooth; in United States money (c.), for cent; in thermometer-readings (c.), for centigrade; in French money (c.), for centime; in references (c.), for chapter (or Latin capitulum); in dates, before the number (c.), for Latin circa, about: in meteorology (c.), for cirrus; in a ship's log-book (c.), for cloudy; and in measures of volume (c.), for cubic.
  • An abbreviation of chief justice.
  • An abbreviation of Court and [lowercase] of centimeter.
  • An abbreviation of Court of Appeal;
  • of Court of Arches;
  • of Chancery Appeals;
  • of commercial agent;
  • of Confederate army;
  • of county alderman.
  • An abbreviation of Cape Breton;
  • of Chief Baron (of the Exchequer) (see baron, 2);
  • of the Latin Chirurgiæ Baccalaurens, Bachelor of Surgery: a degree conferred by certain institutions at the end of the third year of a four years' course for the degree of M. D.;
  • of Common Bench;
  • Milit., of confined to barracks.
  • An abbreviation of Caius College;
  • of Catholic clergyman;
  • of cepi corpus;
  • of Chancery cases;
  • of Circuit Court;
  • of City Court;
  • of Civil Code;
  • of Civil Court;
  • of consular clerk;
  • of contra credit;
  • of county clerk;
  • of county councilor;
  • in ceramics, of cream-colored;
  • of Cricket Club;
  • of crown cases; of crown clerk;
  • in Freemasonry, of Celestial Canopy.
  • An abbreviation of the French compte courante (account current);
  • of cubic centimeter.
  • An abbreviation of cathodal duration.
  • An abbreviation of Canada East.
  • An abbreviation of canto fermo, and
  • of chaplain to the forces.
  • An abbreviation of captain-general;
  • of captain of the guard; of coast-guard.
  • An abbreviation of clearing-house.
  • An abbreviation of Commander of the Order of Leopold. See Order of Leopold, under order.
  • An abbreviation of Certified Master
  • of Church Missionary
  • of common meter
  • of corresponding member.
  • An abbreviation of Civil Service
  • of clerk of session
  • of commissary of subsistence
  • of current strength.
  • An abbreviation of Certificated Teacher.
  • An abbreviation of (Gould's) Cordova Zones. See G. C. Z.
  • n. An abbreviation of chief accountant, of controller of accounts, and in Great Britain of chartered accountant.
  • n. An abbreviation of Companion of the Bath. See bath.
  • n. An abbreviation of County Commissioner and of County Court.
  • n. An abbreviation of Civil Engineer.
  • n. An abbreviation
  • n. of commissary-general, and
  • n. of consul-general.
  • n. An abbreviation
  • n. of court-house, very common in the southern United States, and as far north as southern Pennsylvania, as a part of town-names: as, Spottsylvania C. H.; and
  • n. of custom-house.
  • n. An abbreviation of the Latin (New Latin) Chirurgiæ Magister, Master in Surgery.
  • n. An abbreviation of care of, common in addressing letters, etc. Often written c/o
  • n. An abbreviation of Common Pleas and of Court of Probate.
  • n. An abbreviation of the Latin Custos Rotuloruin, Keeper of the Rolls:
  • n. of the Latin Carolus Rex, Charles the King, or of Carolina Regina, Caroline the Queen.
  • n. An abbreviation of Court of Session;
  • n. Clerk of the Signet;
  • n. Custos Sigilli, Keeper of the Seal;
  • n. con sordini (which see).
  • n. The authorized abbreviated form of Imperial Order of the Crown of India. See Order of the Crown, under crown.
  • n. An abbreviation of Commanding Officer
  • n. of Colonial Office.
  • n. An abbreviation of candle-power;
  • n. of Chief Patriarch;
  • n. of Clerk of the Peace;
  • n. of Code of Procedure;
  • n. of Congregatio Passionis, Congregation of the Passion.
  • n. An abbreviation of the Latin Civis Romanus, Roman citizen.
  • n. An abbreviation of Common Version (of the Bible).

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

  • n. street names for cocaine
  • n. a vitamin found in fresh fruits (especially citrus fruits) and vegetables; prevents scurvy
  • n. a base found in DNA and RNA and derived from pyrimidine; pairs with guanine
  • adj. being ten more than ninety
  • n. ten 10s
  • n. the speed at which light travels in a vacuum; the constancy and universality of the speed of light is recognized by defining it to be exactly 299,792,458 meters per second
  • n. the 3rd letter of the Roman alphabet
  • n. a degree on the centigrade scale of temperature
  • n. a unit of electrical charge equal to the amount of charge transferred by a current of 1 ampere in 1 second
  • n. one of the four nucleotides used in building DNA; all four nucleotides have a common phosphate group and a sugar (ribose)
  • n. (music) the keynote of the scale of C major
  • n. a general-purpose programing language closely associated with the UNIX operating system
  • n. an abundant nonmetallic tetravalent element occurring in three allotropic forms: amorphous carbon and graphite and diamond; occurs in all organic compounds


Modification of upper case letter C, from Etruscan 𐌂 (C), from Greek Γ (G, "Gamma"), from Phoenician 𐤂 (G, "gimmel"). (Wiktionary)
Lower case form of upper case roman numeral C, a standardization of Ɔ and C because the latter happens to be an abbreviation of Latin centum ("hundred"), from abbreviation of ƆIC, an alternate form of >I<, from tally stick markings resembling Ж (a superimposed X and I), from the practice of designating each tenth X notch with an extra cut. (Wiktionary)
From Latin celeritās ("speed"). (Wiktionary)
Various abbreviations (Wiktionary)
From the symbol c, which is from Latin celeritās ("speed"). (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • C. Chemical element symbol for Carbon.

    December 16, 2007