from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The 23rd letter of the modern English alphabet.
  • noun Any of the speech sounds represented by the letter w.
  • noun The 23rd in a series.
  • noun Something shaped like the letter W.
  • abbreviation weight
  • abbreviation width
  • abbreviation Physics work

from The Century Dictionary.

  • An abbreviation of West Africa
  • of West Australia.
  • noun An abbreviation of Water Board
  • noun of way-bill.
  • An abbreviation [lowercase] in a ship's log-book, of wet dew
  • of Western Postal District, London
  • [lowercase] of wife
  • of Wolfram
  • [lowercase or cap.] in electrotechnics, of work
  • in electricity, of watt, the unit of electric power
  • nautical, of winter free-board line. See free-board.
  • noun An abbreviation of West Indies.
  • An abbreviation of wave-length.
  • An abbreviation of Worshipful Master.
  • noun An abbreviation [lowercase or cap.] of water-closet
  • noun of Wesleyan Chapel
  • noun of Western Central (London Postal District)
  • noun [lowercase] of without charge.
  • An abbreviation of War Office.
  • noun An abbreviation of Worthy Patriarch.
  • noun An abbreviation of West Saxon.
  • noun Ar. abbreviation of West Riding;
  • noun of William Rex (King William).
  • noun An abbreviation of Worthy Grand, prefixed to various titles of office among Free-masons and similar orders: as, W. G. C. (Worthy Grand Chaplain or Conductor).
  • noun In printing, an abbreviation of wrong font: a mark on the margin of a proof, calling attention to the fact that the letter or letters, etc., opposite differ from the rest in size or face.
  • noun An abbreviation of writer to the signet. See signet.
  • The twenty-third letter and eighteenth consonant-sign in the English alphabet.
  • As a symbol:
  • In chem., the symbol for tungsten (NL. wolframium).
  • In hydrodynamics, the symbol for the component of the velocity parallel to the axis of Z.
  • As an abbreviation:
  • of west;
  • of western;
  • of William;
  • of Wednesday;
  • of Welsh;
  • of warden;
  • of week.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • the twenty-third letter of the English alphabet, is usually a consonant, but sometimes it is a vowel, forming the second element of certain diphthongs, as in few, how. It takes its written form and its name from the repetition of a V, this being the original form of the Roman capital letter which we call U. Etymologically it is most related to v and u. See V, and U. Some of the uneducated classes in England, especially in London, confuse w and v, substituting the one for the other, as weal for veal, and veal for weal; wine for vine, and vine for wine, etc. See Guide to Pronunciation, §§ 266-268.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The twenty-third letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.
  • noun The first letter of callsigns allocated to American broadcast television and radio stations east of the Mississippi river.
  • noun voiced labial-velar approximant
  • noun The twenty-third letter of the English alphabet, called double-u and written in the Latin script.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word w.


  • Thus, the sentence ˜I am a philosopher™ is false with respect to c and w, but true with respect to c and w*.

    Again 2009

  • Given a world w, the involution operation produces a world w* which is, in a sense to be specified, its “reverse twin”.

    Impossible Worlds Berto, Francesco 2009

  • (S¬) vw (¬A) = 1 if and only if vw* (A) = 0, that is, ¬A is true at a world w if and only if A is false, not at w itself (as it happens with standard negation), but at its twin w*.

    Impossible Worlds Berto, Francesco 2009

  • But what is the intuitive connection between w and w*?

    Impossible Worlds Berto, Francesco 2009

  • To provide the required counterexample, just consider a model in which A holds at w, B doesn't hold at w, and A doesn't hold at w*.

    Impossible Worlds Berto, Francesco 2009

  • The propositional concept corresponding to this statement will yield the truth for any pair of worlds w, w² such that there is an x that is referred to as ˜that man™ in w, and x is sitting in w².

    Pragmatics Korta, Kepa 2006

  • Suppose Moe is sitting in the actual world w and standing in alternative world w², while Curley is standing in

    Pragmatics Korta, Kepa 2006

  • Stalnaker's semantics uses a "selection function", F, which selects, for any proposition A and any world w, a world, w², the nearest (most similar) world to w at which A is true.

    Conditionals Edgington, Dorothy 2006

  • "If A, B" is true at w iff B is true at F (A, w), i.e. at w², the world most similar to w at which A is true.

    Conditionals Edgington, Dorothy 2006

  • But Klagge took that to show that w and w* do not provide a counterexample to the strong supervenience of A on B after all.

    Supervenience McLaughlin, Brian 2005


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

  • W. Chemical element symbol for Tungsten.

    December 1, 2007