The y

Collins
World English Dictionary
y or Y (waɪ)
 
n , pl y's, Y's, Ys
1.  the 25th letter of the modern English alphabet
2.  a speech sound represented by this letter, in English usually a semivowel, as in yawn, or a vowel, as in symbol or shy
3.  a.  something shaped like a Y
 b.  (in combination): a Y-cross
 
Y or Y
 
n

y
 
symbol for
1.  the y-axis or a coordinate measured along the y-axis in a Cartesian coordinate system
2.  an algebraic variable

Y
 
symbol for
1.  any unknown, unspecified, or variable factor, number, person, or thing
2.  chem yttrium
3.  currency
 a.  yen
 b.  yuan

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Y
a late-developing letter in Eng. Called ipsilon in Ger., upsilon in Gk., the Eng. name is of obscure origin. The sound at the beginning of yard, yes, yield, etc. is from O.E. words with initial g- as in got and y- as in yet, which were considered the same sound and often transcribed as a character that
looks something like 3 (but with a flat top and lower on the line of text), known as yogh. The system was altered by Fr. scribes, who brought over the continental use of -g- and from the early 1200s used -y- and sometimes -gh- to replace 3. There's a good, in-depth discussion of yogh here. As short for YMCA, YWCA, YMHA first recorded 1915.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

Y
The symbol for the element yttrium.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
Y  
The symbol for yttrium.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
y
yen
Y
  1. admittance

  2. hypercharge

  3. year

  4. YMCA

  5. YMHA

  6. YWCA

  7. YWHA

  8. young

  9. yttrium

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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