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English spellings/Catalogs/A

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Use in English
Alphabetical word list
Retroalphabetical list  
Common misspellings  

This page lists pronunciations of English words that begin with A. To see a different letter navigate with the table above. The apostrophe is treated as the last letter of the alphabet, after Z.

For a pronunciation key, click on the blue "Catalogs" link below the article title.[e]


 letter = èh? what? (names of letters are usually written as capitals in text: the létter Â, ín B-flát mâjor, etc.)

a article *ə: schwa = uh. It can be a strong form â, like the name of the letter Â, but this is almost always unnecessary and pompous-sounding, and is typical of politicians and the like; it can however be used for emphasis, meaning 'one', as for example of a tennis player trailing 4-6 2-0: At lêast hê lêads ín â sét. (The British weak form of àre is also *ə.)

Â-sîde

àaah sentimentàaargh disgust (to both more a's may be added) ≈ àh response

àardvark

Ãaron BrE; AmE Áaron = Árron = Árran Isle; also Ãron/Áron

Áaron/Ãaron Côpland

ábacus

abándoned: not -nned

Ábba, normal name case in English;[1] Abba themselves use all upper case, preferably with the first B reversed to make symmetrical sense as it's an acronym of their first names

Abbàs

ábbey = Ábbey = Ábby

Ábbottabad or Abbóttabad

ABC alphabet *Ây-Bêe-Cêe (not to mention *Dêe-Êe-éF-Gêe-âitcH-Î-Jây-Kây-éL-éM-éN-Ô-Pêe-Queûe-àR-éSs-Têe-yÛ-Vêe-dúblyeŴ-éX-wŶe-Zéd/Zêe)

ábdomen

abdóminal

Âbe Abraham, Àbè Shinzo

Aberdêen

Aberfán *Áber-ván, per Welsh

áberrant *ábberant, or abérrant, cf. érrant

aberrâtion

Aberýstwýth

abét

abhŏr

abhórrent (h may be silent)

ábject cf. óbject, objéct

âble capable = Âbel person

abòut = a bòut boxing *əbòut

abòut-türn

abòve

abrǒad

ábscéss (-bsc-)

ábsèil cf. sâil

ábsence

ábsent, cf. in abséntia

absŏrb

absŏrption

abstâin

absténtion

ábstinence

abstrûse -ss

abûse noun, -ss; verb, -z

abúzz

abýsmal -zməl

abýss

ácadême

acadêmia

académic

acádemy

accêde accessionexcêed more

accélerate əx-, cf. excél, éxcellent

áccent áx-

accéntuate -x-

accépt receive əx-, cf. excépt exception íx- (minimal pair)

accéptable

áccess noun *áxéss, cf. áxis centre (minimal pair), áxes axe *axiz

accéss verb *əxéss, cf. excéss, *ixéss (minimal pair)

áccident áx-

accidéntally áx-

acclâim = a clâim

áccolade

accómmodate: two c's and two m's

accòmpaniment

accòmpany

accòmplíce person BrE; AmE accómplíce

accòmplísh achieve BrE; AmE accómplísh

accoûtrement

Accrà

accrédited

accrûe cf. acróss

accürsed *accürsid

âce

acërbic cf. ascertâin

âche *âke

achìêve

acknówledge *əc-nólij

ácmê

ácnê

ácolŷte

acquiésce *ákwì-éss, cf. quiéscent *kwì-éssent, quîet *kwîət

acquîre *aquîre

acquít

âcreage *âkerage

ácrimony

ácronym

Acrópolis

acróss cf. accrûe

áctual *ákchəl

ácûmen *ákyəmən, cf. áccurate *ákyərət

ácupuncture

ádage

adàgio -jô

adaptâtion, cf. adóption

ádd more = ád advertisement

Áddis Ábaba

ádditive

addíctive

addréss BrE = a dréss; AmE áddress

Adéle

Âden Yemen = Âidan person

adhêre (d and h pronounced separately)

adhêsive (d and h pronounced separately)

ád hóc, two words

ád infinîtum, cf. ínfinite, infínitive

ádjective cf. ejécted

adjöurn

adjúst *ajúst

admínistrate

administrâtion

admínistrative; some AmE administrâtive

admîre

ádmirable *ádmrbl

ád nåusêám (-ziám) or pronounced, but not spelt *ád nåusêum (-ziəm)

adôbê

Ádolf = Ádolph; some AmE: Âdolf

adóption

adrénalín, adrénaline

*adréss addréss

ádult BrE; AmE adúlt

adúltery

advānce

ádvent

advénture

ádversary -vəsrỳ or advërsary

ádvërt

ádvertise pronounced, but never spelt -îze

ádvertîsement AmE *ádvertîzemənt, like the verb, above

advërtísement BrE *ədvërtíssmənt

advîce noun -ss

advîse verb pronounced but never spelt -îze

advîser = advîsor (alternatives)

ádze, ádz tool = áds adverts

Aêgêan *Êjêən

ãerial air = Ãriel person

ãerie bird = ãiry light and = variant spellings of bird: ãerie = éyrie = éyry

ãeroplane BrE; AmE ãirplane

Aêschylus BrE; AmE Êschylus *Êeskiləss

aêsthétics AmE ê-

afféct alter cf. efféct result í- or = afféct

áffect emotion

afféctive emotional cf. efféctive resultant

áffidâvit

áffluent

affrònt cf. effròntery

Afghánistān Áf-gán- (-wán-, -hán- -wàn-, etc. are local pronunciations)

Áfghán cf. Áfrican -ən

aficionàdo -físh- or -físsy-

afrâid

afrésh anew (adverb) = a frésh

África

Afrikàans -ànce

Afrikàner

āfter

āfterthŏught -åwt, one word

āfterward AmE, BrE āfterwards

āfterwörd preface

again, against: both have -én, but for some speakers there is a regular spelling pronunciation: agâin, agâinst

agâpe gaping

ágapê eros

ággravate

aggréssion

aggriêved

âge cf. édge: Francophones beware

âged: as in âged 20, pronounced *âyjd; when meaning old before a noun (an âged mán), *âyjíd

âgeing (BrE), âging (AmE), *âjing

âgeist *âjist

âge-ôld hyphenated

ágîle

agô

ágora

ágriculture

àh responseàaah sentimentàaargh disgust (in the latter cases more a's may be added)

ahà

ahem: schwas

Àhmad Jamál

âid help = âide assistant; Âids or ÂIDS disease = âids, âides plurals

Âids or ÂIDS disease = âids, âides plurals

ãir breathe = Ãyr Scotland = ére before = é’er ever = héir estate = Éyre Jane = Ãire river; AmE ãir = AmE érr, cf. BrE ërr *üh

ãiry light = all four spellings of éyrie = éyry = ãerie = ãery bird, cf. êerie strange

aîsle walking space = îsle island

Âix France = âches ache

aj-: most words that sound as if they start like this actually have adj-

Ajáccio *Azháxio

Àjáx Amsterdam *Àyáx

Âjáx person

áka or ákà (can be capitals), acronym of ålso knôwn as

Ál Alan, etc. cf. åll total

Ál Arabic may be hyphenated to following capital-letter word in Arabic name; may also be ál

à là (à la)

Alabáma (Á): one m, cf. Montána, Louisiána

Aláddin

Álan (usually a given name) = Állen (usually a surname) = Állan (least common)

alás

Álawite

Albânia (Á)

Ålbany

albêdo

albêit *åll bê ít, cf. sô bê ít

Álbert

albìno

Álbion

Albuquërquê *Álbə-kïrky

Aldébaran

Åldwých *åll dwítch

âle beer = âil ailing

Álfa Romèo, cf. álpha, Rômêo

Álfred

álgaê *áljê or *álgy

Algàrve

álgorithm rhymes with rhýthm

Áli = Álly = Álley = álley walk, although Muhámmad Alì boxer is often pronounced *Àh-lêe; cf. állŷ *állîe friend

âlias *âlius, cf. Alîas Don

álibî

Álíce = Álliss

âlien

alienâtion

alîgn = a lîne, cf. állŷ friend, állêy way

alîgned *allîned, cf. állied

Álison = Állison, probably the former more common as given name, the latter as family name

Álistair = Álastair

alîve

åll every = åwl tool, cf. Ál name

allegâtions *allogations

allége cf. lédge, etc.

alléged *aléjd

allégedly *aléjidly

allêle

allelûia or allelûja or allelûya

állêy path = Áli person, cf. állŷ

allîance

álligâtor

allót assign = a lót much; cf. Állott

åll-òut total before noun needs hyphen

allòwed permitted = alòud heard

álloy

åll-stàr is an adjective, so needs hyphen

allûde əl-, cf. elûde, əl- or íl-

allûsion, əl-, cf. illûsion, íl-

állŷ friend, cf. Álly = Álì = állêy

allŷ verb = a lîe, cf. alîgn = a lîne

ålmanac

àlmond *àhmənd

ålmost

àlms gift = BrE àrms body, weapons

álôe

alône

alóngsîde one word

a lót many = allót assign (*alót)

a lót of many (*əlótəv)

alòud audible = allòwed permitted

Aloýsius *Aləwíshəss

ál-Qàêda (or Ál-; also minus hyphen) *ál-Kŷda (rarely does one hear an anglophone sound or suggest the glottal stop that is present in the Arabic: *álkà-êda)

alréady before = åll réady ready

alrîght = åll rîght: the single-word form presumably arose by analogy with alréady and ålways, but it is widely regarded as unacceptable: does it mean all correct, or satisfactory? "Their answers were alright" would appear to be an incorrect rendering of "their answers were all right/all correct", but it may merely mean "their answers were acceptable", and it is this needless ambiguity that gains the one-word version its detractors

Alsâtian

ålso

ålt-

ålter change = åltar church

álter êgo

*altêrior ultêrior

altërnate BrE; AmE ålternate adjective

ålternâte verb

altërnatíve

althôugh *åll-dhô

álto

áltruism

alumínium BrE; AmE alûminum

alúmnus

alvêolar

ålways ever cf. áll wâys methods, styles

Álzheîmer's is probably the most common British pronunciation, Å- ditto in AmE; also, À-

ám be

âm morning (ante meridian) *â-ém = a.m. (lower case)

amanuénsis, cf. Emmánuel

ámateur *ámətər; AmE can be amateûr

amâze

Ámazon

ambássador cf. émbassy

ámbergrìs BrE, AmE ámbergrís; s may be silent

ámbiance

ámbient

ambíguous

ambigûity

ambítious *ámbíshəss

amén BrE à, AmE â

amênable

aménd cf. comménd

aménds make = eménds alters

amênity, AmE also aménity

âmìable cf. âim

ámícable

amíss awry, cf. Âmíss, Âmís names

Ammàn

ammunítion *ámyù-níshən

amnêsia

ámnesty

amók cf. amúck, same meaning

amòng

amòunt

an *ən: version of a before a consonant

anáchronism -nákr-

ânal

ánalŷse verb *ánnəlîze

ánalŷses verb and análysês noun *ənáləssêez are homographs; the first is the third person singular present tense of the verb (above), the second the plural of the noun (below)

análysis noun *ənáləssís

ánalýst

anàrchic -kik

ánarchist -kist

ánarchy *ánə(r)kỳ

anáthema

áncestor

ánchor -nk-

ánchovy -ntsh-

âncient

áncillãry AmE, BrE ancíllary

and *ənd, sometimes ánd for emphasis = & (the ampersand, always unstressed and used in proprietory names, show business acts, etc.)

Andalucìa (some say -thìa in imitation of the European Spanish pronunciation)

andántè

Ándês

Andêan

Ándhra Pradésh

ánd ŏr ('and/or') is nowadays spoken and can be sometimes seen without the stroke inbetween

Andórra BrE, AmE -ŏrr-, cf. Pandŏra

Ándrêa (first of three syllables stressed) is an English girl's name; Andrèa (second of three) is a German boy's name; both end in schwa: -ə

Andrómeda

Ándreŵ

anémonê *an-émeny, cf. an énemy

Ánerley

aneŵ afresh (adverb) = a neŵ

ângel *ânjəl, cf. ángle

Ángela

Ángelô = Ángelôu Maya, though Ángeloû is very common

ánger BrE *áng-gə

angîna *án-jînə

ángle hard g, cf. ângel *âynjl

Ánglia

ánglophone

Ánglo-Sáxon

Angôla

ángry *áng-gry

ángst

Anguílla -gwí-

Anguíllan -gwí-

ánimè

ánimus cf. ûnánimous

áníse cf. Álíce (minimal pair)

Anìta Ànand

Ánkara

*ánker is a misspelling of ánchor

ánkle

ánnals cf. ánalyst

Ánnan: second a as schwa, rhymes with cánnon, making a minimal pair with Árran (but widely mispronounced with the stress on the second syllable, perhaps by analogy with Ammàn)[2]

annéx verb

ánnex or ánnexe noun

annîhilate *annîəlâte

annúl cf. ánnal

anŏint cf. annòunce

anómaly

anón soon = anón. anonymous

ánonýmity

anónymous

anoréxia

anòther one word

ánschlùss

ānswer, silent w: BrE *ànsə, AmE *ánsr

antágonîse, -ísm, -íst

Antananarìvo *Antána-narìvo

Antàrctica: first c can be silent

ántê- before = BrE ántì against

anténna

anténnaê BrE = AmE anténnê, though some BrE speakers, perhaps recalling school Latin, say -nàê (-nî)

Ánthony usual = Ántony Mark, -tə-

ántì BrE (AmE ántî) against = ántê- before; prô and ánti are always hyphenated to a following word they modify: prô-wår and ánti-wår

antibiótic

ántícs

ántidote

antimacássar

Antìgua *Án-têegə

antípodês

antìque *án-têek

antirrhînum *antirŷnum

antisemític, anti-Semític anti-Jewish (euphemism? "Semitic" refers to a language group that includes Arabic and Amharic as well as Israel's Hebrew)

antisémitism (or anti-Sémitism, but what, then, is 'Semitism'?)

Ántón, cf. Ánthony, Ántony

anxîety *angzîəty

ánxious *ángkshəss or *ángshəss

any some *énny makes a minimal pair with Ánnie person

anybody *énnybódy one word

any mŏre, anymŏre *énny-mŏre: the one-word form, restricted to the meaning no longer, is American English: ít dòesn't mátter anymŏre

anyone anybody *énnywún, one word; otherwise two: any òne îtem, where òne is a numeral: cf. any thrêe óptions

anyway despite one word, cf. where wây is a noun: any wây yoû loòk at ít, dôn't chânge ít ín any wây

ãorist

apâce fast = a pâce step

apàrt separate = a pàrt section, hence apàrt from and a pàrt of

apàrtheîd -tîte or apàrthèid -tâte

apéritìf either stressed

aphêlion *əfêliən, *əp-hêliən

âphid

apìêce each one word = a pìêce part

aplénty

aplómb *əplóm

apócalypse

apócryphal, cf. êpoch -óc, crýpt

ápogêe -jì

apólogîse verb

apólogíes plural noun

*apón upón

apóstasy

apóstate

apóstle

apóstrophê

ápp, abbreviation of applicátion; there is also a surname Ápps

appål; AmE can be appåll

Appalâchia -sh- or -ch-; or Appaláchia -ch- (though Delius pronounced it, and his musical work, *Appalàkia)

appålling

apparátchik

ápparâtus BrE either stressed (to children it can sound plural, ‘apperators’, like óperators); AmE apparátus

appárel

appárent

appêar

appêasement

appêaser

applåuse

*appôse oppôse

ápposíte

apprôpriate adjective, apprôpriâte verb

approval -prû-

approve -prû-

âpricot

à priŏrî two words

àpriŏrísm one word

apropôs *ápropô

Aquãrius

aquátic

áqueduct

áqueous

Áquila

*aquîre acquîre

A&R *ayənàr

ár- BrE is ãr- for some AmE speakers: ãrrogant, etc.

Árab adjective, person, some AmE Ãrab

Arâbian adjective

Árabic language, some AmE Ãrabic

árable

àrbíter

àrbítrary

àrc circle = Àrk Noah = Àrc Joan

àrced arc *àrkt

àrch, ch sound, *àrtsh, unlike most of the following (the exceptions being the versions with bíshop and dêacon)

archâíc *àrkâyíc

archângel àrk-

archbíshop àrtch-

archdêacon àrtch-

archeólogy àrk-

Archimêdês Àrk-

archipélago àrk-

àrchitect àrk-

àrchive *àrkîve

àrchivist *àrkîvist, *àrkəvist

arcmínute, arcsécond both one word

Àrctic

àre BrE = àh; BrE weak form = a weak form *ə; AmE weak form *r

ãrêa space *ãrêə makes a minimal pair with ària song

arêna

Àrês Mars, or = Ãríes/Ãriês Ram, both -z

Argentìna, Àrgentîne, Argentínian = Argentínean Àrj-

àrgil clay, soft g

argot slang = Àrgo ship

àrgue

àrgument

Argŷll Scotland = Argŷle elsewhere, hard g

ària opera cf. ãrea space

Ãrian Arius, Aries = Ãryan race

Ariàna

Àriàna Grànde AmE; BrE Áriàna Grándè

Ariáne

árid

Ãríes -ríz

áristocrát BrE; AmE arístocrát

aristocrátic

Aristóphanês

Áristótle

Àrk Noah = àrc circle = Àrc Joan

Àrkansas BrE -såw, AmE -sà

aròund = a ròund

arrâign = a râin

arrêars

arrést

arrhýthmic

àrsenal *àrssnəl

àrsenic *àrssníc

àrson

àrt artist = Àrt Arthur

àrt déco or Àrt Déco (may retain French accent on é)

àrtefact BrE; AmE àrtifact

artêsian well *àrtêzhən

artifícial -shəl

artisán art *àrtizán

àrtist art

artìste stage

Ãryan race = Ãrian heresy, Aries

asbéstós

ascénd: derived words can be spelt with either a or e:

ascéndance or ascéndence

ascéndancy or ascéndency

ascéndant or ascéndent

ascént climb = assént agree

ascertâin cf. acërbic

Áscot

ÁSEAN or Ásean association *Ássián, cf. Âsian Asia, *Âyzhən

Áshlêy = Áshlêigh

Âsia *Âsha or *Âzha

ásinine áss-

askānce

áspartâme or aspàrtâme

Ásperger's

*áspéstóss asbéstos

ásphalt

asphýxiate

áspirin medicine -spr-, cf. aspîring aspire

Ássád, first syllable stressed, making a minimal pair with ácid

Assànge Julian -ànzh

assássin has four s’s

assént agree = ascént climb

asséss

ássét

assîgn *əssîne = a sîgn

assignâtion *ássíg-nâtion

assîgnment *əssînemənt

assuâge *əsswâge

assûme *əssyûme

assûre AmE -shûre, BrE –shůre

ásterisk

ásterism

Ásterix

ásthma *ássma

asúnder

as wéll two words

asŷlum

âte AmE; BrE *ét

âthêíst cf. aesthétic

at lêast two words

átmosphêre

atmosphéric

átóll, some AmE âtóll

atône

âtrium

atrôcious -shəss

atrócity

áttaboy one word

attáchè -áshây

attácks = a táx

atténtion *əténshən makes a minimal pair with ténsion

Attíla *Atílla

*attône: atône

attörney

attríbutable

áttribute noun

Auchinleck *Ókhinleck, *Áffleck

Åuckland

auctionêer åukshə-

åudio

auditǒrium

augmént

åugur = Åuger

åugury

augúst revered

Åugust month

Åuld Láng Sŷne (from Robert Burns, Scots, "Old Long Since") or ...*Zŷne

Àùng Sán Sûu Kyìi *Òwng Sán Sûe Chêe

āunt uncle AmE = ánt insect

au fâit *ô-fây

au fónd *ô-fón, French nasal -ón

au pãir, ôp-

åural ear = ŏral mouth, by a coincidence of Latin, though the first may be pronounced àùral (*òwral) to distinguish it

Aus Australia = Óz Wizard

Àùschwitz *Òushvíts

åuspices

Aussie Australasian -z- = Óssy = Óssie persons

Austen Jane = Austin car, Texas Ó-

Austrâlia Ó-

Austria Ó-

åutarchy sovereignty = åutarky self-sufficiency

authóritative BrE; AmE authŏritâtive

authórity

åutism

àùtobàhn

åutomobìle

åutumn silent n

autúmnal, n sounded

avâil = a vèil

ávalānche

ávant-gàrde (gàrde = guàrd) hyphenated

avénge

avërt

Áviemore

avocàdo

avŏid

avoirdupŏis *ávədə-pŏiz

aẁash with = a ẁash

awây gone, going = a wây method, route = awêigh anchors

åwe amaze = BrE ŏr, etc.

awêigh anchors = awây go

åwesome

åwestruck

åwful

awhîle adverb = a whîle noun; the one-word form is often used incorrectly, as it can only be used after a verb, not after a preposition (ín, āfter, fŏr etc.); compare: línger awhîle, stây awhîle with stây for a whîle, hê'll bè hêre ín a whîle, for a shŏrt whîle, ít háppened a whîle báck, ít's bêen a whîle

åwkward *åwquəd

åwl tool = åll total

âwol, ÂWOL

awrŷ *ərî

áxe chop BrE; AmE áx = ácts act (the plurals of áxe/áx and áxis have the same spelling, but different pronunciations, as follows)

áxes axe -íz

áxês axis -êz, cf. áccess

áxis spin -íss

áxle car = Áxel person

Áxminster

aŷe yes = eŷe see = Î me

*Âyman Eâmonn, cf. Hâyman

Aŷn Ránd

Ãyr Scotland = ãir breathe

Ãyrshire

Azerbaijàn Ázerbaî-jàn

Azéri

ázure -zh-

References

  1. Abba win 'Eurovision 50th' vote BBC News, 23 October 2005. Retrieved 1 August 2007.
  2. Crossette, Barbara. New U.N. Chief Promises Reforms but Says He Won't Cut Jobs, New York Times, 10 January 1997. Retrieved on 25 February 2008.