D (dee)


The fourth letter of the English alphabet, and a vocal consonent. The English letter is from Latin, which is from Greek, which took it from Phoenician, the probable ultimate origin being Egyptian. It is related most nearly to t and th; as, Eng. deep, G. tief; Eng. daughter, G. tochter, Gr. , Skr. duhitr. See Guide to Pronunciation, §§178, 179, 229.

2. Mus.

The nominal of the second tone in the model major scale (that in C), or of the fourth tone in the relative minor scale of C (that in A minor), or of the key tone in the relative minor of F.


As a numeral D stands for 500. In this use it is not the initial of any word, or even strictly a letter, but one half of the uncial M, the original Tuscan numeral for 1000.


© Webster 1913.