Definitions for: O

[n] the 15th letter of the Roman alphabet
[n] the blood group whose red cells carry neither the A nor B antigens; "people with type O blood are universal donors"
[n] a nonmetallic bivalent element that is normally a colorless odorless tasteless nonflammable diatomic gas; constitutes 21 percent of the atmosphere by volume; the most abundant element in the earth's crust

Webster (1913) Definition: O ([=o]).
1. O, the fifteenth letter of the English alphabet, derives
its form, value, and name from the Greek O, through the
Latin. The letter came into the Greek from the
Ph[oe]nician, which possibly derived it ultimately from
the Egyptian. Etymologically, the letter o is most closely
related to a, e, and u; as in E. bone, AS. b[=a]n; E.
stone, AS. st[=a]n; E. broke, AS. brecan to break; E.
bore, AS. beran to bear; E. dove, AS. d[=u]fe; E. toft,
tuft; tone, tune; number, F. nombre. The letter o has
several vowel sounds, the principal of which are its long
sound, as in bone, its short sound, as in nod, and the
sounds heard in the words orb, son, do (feod), and wolf
(book). In connection with the other vowels it forms
several digraphs and diphthongs. See Guide to
Pronunciation, [sect][sect] 107-129.

2. Among the ancients, O was a mark of triple time, from the
notion that the ternary, or number 3, is the most perfect
of numbers, and properly expressed by a circle, the most
perfect figure. O was also anciently used to represent 11:
with a dash over it ([=O]), 11,000.

O ([=o]), n.; pl. O's or Oes ([=o]z).
1. The letter O, or its sound. ``Mouthing out his hollow oes
and aes.'' --Tennyson.

2. Something shaped like the letter O; a circle or oval.
``This wooden O [Globe Theater]''. --Shak.

3. A cipher; zero. [R.]

Thou art an O without a figure. --Shak.

O' [Ir. o a descendant.]
A prefix to Irish family names, which signifies grandson or
descendant of, and is a character of dignity; as, O'Neil,

O' ([=o]; unaccented [-o]), prep.
A shortened form of of or on. ``At the turning o' the tide.''

O ([=o]), a. [See One.]
One. [Obs.] --Chaucer. ``Alle thre but o God.'' --Piers

O, interj.
An exclamation used in calling or directly addressing a
person or personified object; also, as an emotional or
impassioned exclamation expressing pain, grief, surprise,
desire, fear, etc.

For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. --Ps.
cxix. 89.

O how love I thy law ! it is my meditation all the day.
--Ps. cxix.

Note: O is frequently followed by an ellipsis and that, an in
expressing a wish: ``O [I wish] that Ishmael might live
before thee !'' --Gen. xvii. 18; or in expressions of
surprise, indignation, or regret: ``O [it is sad] that
such eyes should e'er meet other object !'' --Sheridan

Note: A distinction between the use of O and oh is insisted
upon by some, namely, that O should be used only in
direct address to a person or personified object, and
should never be followed by the exclamation point,
while Oh (or oh) should be used in exclamations where
no direct appeal or address to an object is made, and
may be followed by the exclamation point or not,
according to the nature or construction of the
sentence. Some insist that oh should be used only as an
interjection expressing strong feeling. The form O,
however, is, it seems, the one most commonly employed
for both uses by modern writers and correctors for the
press. ``O, I am slain !'' --Shak. ``O what a fair and
ministering angel !'' ``O sweet angel !'' --Longfellow.

O for a kindling touch from that pure flame !

But she is in her grave, -- and oh The difference
to me ! --Wordsworth.

Oh for a lodge in some vast wilderness !

We should distinguish between the sign of the
vocative and the emotional interjection, writing
O for the former, and oh for the latter. --Earle.

O dear, & O dear me! [corrupted fr. F. O Dieu! or It. O
Dio! O God! O Dio mio! O my God! --Wyman.], exclamations
expressive of various emotions, but usually promoted by
surprise, consternation, grief, pain, etc.

Synonyms: atomic number 8, group O, oxygen, type O

See Also: air, alphabetic character, blood group, blood type, chemical element, element, gas, H2O, letter, letter of the alphabet, liquid oxygen, LOX, ozone, Roman alphabet, water

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