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Yours, Etc.: Origins and Uses of 8 Sign-Offs

em

[em] /ɛm/
noun, plural ems.
1.
the letter M, m.
2.
Also called mut, mutton. Printing.
  1. the square of any size of type used as the unit of measurement for matter printed in that type size.
  2. (originally) the portion of a line of type occupied by the letter M in type of the same size.
3.
adjective
4.
Printing. having the area of an em quad or the length of an em dash.
Origin
1860-1865
1860-65

EM

3.
electronic mail.
4.
electron microscope; electron microscopy.
5.
end matched.
6.
Engineer of Mines.
7.
enlisted man; enlisted men.

Em

Symbol, Physical Chemistry
1.
emanation (def 3).

'em

[uh m] /əm/
pronoun, Informal.
1.
them:
Put 'em down there.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English hem, Old English heom, dative and accusative plural of he1

em-1

1.
variant of en-1. before b, p, and sometimes m: embalm.
Compare im-1 .

em-2

1.
variant of en-2. before b, m, p, ph: embolism, emphasis.

E.M.

1.
Earl Marshal.
2.
Engineer of Mines.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for em

em

/ɛm/
noun (printing)
1.
Also called mutton, mut. the square of a body of any size of type, used as a unit of measurement
2.
Also called pica em, pica. a unit of measurement used in printing, equal to one sixth of an inch
Word Origin
C19: from the name of the letter M

em-

prefix
1.
before b, m, and p, a variant of en-1 , en-2

'em

/əm/
pronoun
1.
an informal variant of them
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for em

em-

from French assimilation of en- to following labial (see en- (1)). Also a prefix used to form verbs from adjectives and nouns.

representing Latin ex- assimilated to following -m- (see ex-).

'em

Middle English, now taken as a colloquial abbreviation of them, but originally a form of hem, dative and accusative of the third person plural pronoun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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em in Medicine

EM abbr.
electron microscope

em- pref.
Variant of en-2.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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em in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Related Abbreviations for em

EM

  1. electromagnetic
  2. electron microscope
  3. enlisted man

E.M.

Engineer of Mines
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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5
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