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 GAMMA, Γ, and came from the Greek alphabet. The Greek got it from the Phoenicians. 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, eagar; L. cornu, E. horn; E. cat, kitten; E. coy, quiet; L. circare, OF. cerchier, E. search.
See Guide to Pronunciation, §§ 221-228.
(a) 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 (b) 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 (c) The "C clef," a modification of the letter C, placed on any line of the staff, abows that line to be middle C.
As a numeral, C stands for Latin centum or 100, CC for 200, etc.
C spring, a spring in the form of the letter C.
© Webster 1913.