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

  • n. A sign in Arabic orthography used to represent the sound of a glottal stop, transliterated in English as an apostrophe.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sign (ء‎ - a stand-alone hamza) used in the written Arabic language representing a glottal stop. Hamza may appear as a stand-alone letter or most commonly over or under other letters, e.g. أ‎‎ (over an alif - ا‎), إ‎‎ (under an alif), ؤ‎‎‎ (over a wāw - و‎) or ئ‎‎‎‎ (over a dotless yāʾ - ى‎). The exact seat of hamza is governed by an orthographic rule - "seat of hamza rule".


Arabic, from hamaza, to urge on, goad; see hmz in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Arabic همزة (hámza) (Wiktionary)



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