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[eks] /ɛks/
verb (used with object), x-ed or x'd
[ekst] /ɛkst/ (Show IPA),
x-ing or x'ing
[ek-sing] /ˈɛk sɪŋ/ (Show IPA)
to cross out or mark with or as if with an x (often followed by out):
to x out an error.
to indicate choice, as on a ballot or examination (often followed by in):
to x in the candidate of your choice.
Origin of x
1840-50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for xed


noun (pl) x's, X's, Xs
the 24th letter and 19th consonant of the modern English alphabet
a speech sound sequence represented by this letter, in English pronounced as ks or gz or, in initial position, z, as in xylophone


(commerce, banking, finance) ex
(maths) the x-axis or a coordinate measured along the x-axis in a Cartesian coordinate system
an algebraic variable


(formerly, in Britain)
  1. indicating a film that may not be publicly shown to anyone under 18. Since 1982 replaced by symbol 18
  2. (as modifier): an X film
denoting any unknown, unspecified, or variable factor, number, person, or thing
(on letters, cards, etc) denoting a kiss
(on ballot papers, etc) indicating choice
(on examination papers, etc) indicating error
for Christ; Christian
(Roman numeral) ten See Roman numerals
Word Origin
(sense 6) from the form of the Greek letter khi (Χ), first letter of Khristos Christ
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 xed


most English words beginning in -x- are of Greek origin or modern commercial coinages. East Anglian in 14c. showed a tendency to use -x- for initial sh-, sch- (cf. xal for shall), which didn't catch on but seems an improvement over the current system. As a symbol of a kiss on a letter, etc., it is recorded from 1765. In malt liquor, XX denoted "double quality" and XXX "strongest quality" (1827).

Algebraic meaning "unknown quantity" (1660 in English), sometimes said to be from medieval use, originally a crossed -r-, probably from Latin radix (see root (n.)). Other theories trace it to Arabic, but a more prosaic explanation says Descartes (1637) took x, y, z, the last three letters of the alphabet, for unknowns to correspond to a, b, c, used for known quantities.

Used allusively for "unknown person" from 1797, "something unknown" since 1859. As a type of chromosome, attested from 1902 (first so called in German; Henking, 1891). First used 1950 in Britain to designate "films deemed suitable for adults only;" adopted in U.S. Nov. 1, 1968.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for xed



A person who is ostentatiously and smugly knowing; smart aleck, smart-ass: the way an old-time carny handles a tough wisenheimer with the aid of a hammer

[1904+; fr wise plus the German or Yiddish element -enheimer found in surnames based on German place names ending in -heim; the coinage may be motivated by the humorous attempt to add weight to the term and is perhaps tinged with anti-Semitism]


adjective phrase

Tense; anxious; on edge: She was a tall, angular woman, tightly wound, with a Nefertiti profile and hands made for scratching (1788+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for xed


  1. abscissa
  2. by
  3. times (that is, multiplication)


  1. adult audiences only
  2. Christ
  3. Christian
  4. experimental
  5. extra
  6. reactance
  7. 10
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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