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M m
(See below)
M cursiva.gif
Writing system Latin script
Type Alphabetic and Logographic
Language of origin Latin language
Phonetic usage[ m ]
[ ɱ ]
[ n ]
[ ]
Unicode valueU+004D, U+006D
Alphabetical position13
Numerical value: 1000
Time period~-700 to present
  ɯ ɰ
Sisters М



Variations(See below)
Other letters commonly used with m(x)
Associated numbers1000

M (named em /ɛm/ ) [1] is the thirteenth letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

Letter (alphabet) grapheme in an alphabetic system of writing

A letter is a grapheme in an alphabetic system of writing. It is a visual representation of the smallest unit of spoken sound. Letters broadly correspond to phonemes in the spoken form of the language, although there is rarely a consistent, exact correspondence between letters and phonemes.

English alphabet Latin alphabet consisting of 26 letters, each having an uppercase and a lowercase form

The modern English alphabet is a Latin alphabet consisting of 26 letters, each having an upper- and lower-case form. The same letters constitute the ISO basic Latin alphabet. The alphabet's current form originated in about the 7th century from the Latin script. Since then, various letters have been added, or removed, to give the current Modern English alphabet of 26 letters:

The ISO basic Latin alphabet is a Latin-script alphabet and consists of two sets of 26 letters, codified in various national and international standards and used widely in international communication. They are the same letters that comprise the English alphabet.



Egyptian hieroglyph "n" Phoenician
Etruscan M Greek
Roman M
PhoenicianM-01.png EtruscanM-01.svg Mu uc lc.svg RomanM-01.png

The letter M is derived from the Phoenician Mem, via the Greek Mu (Μ, μ). Semitic Mem is most likely derived from a "Proto-Sinaitic" (Bronze Age) adoption of the "water" ideogram in Egyptian writing. The Egyptian sign had the acrophonic value /n/, from the Egyptian word for "water", nt; the adoption as the Semitic letter for /m/ was presumably also on acrophonic grounds, from the Semitic word for "water", *mā(y)- . [2]

Phoenician alphabet non-pictographic consonantal alphabet, or abjad. Oldest verified alphabet

The Phoenician alphabet, called by convention the Proto-Canaanite alphabet for inscriptions older than around 1050 BC, is the oldest verified alphabet. It is an alphabet of abjad type, consisting of 22 consonant letters only, leaving vowel sounds implicit, although certain late varieties use matres lectionis for some vowels. It was used to write Phoenician, a Northern Semitic language, used by the ancient civilization of Phoenicia in modern-day Syria, Lebanon, and northern Israel.

Mem is the thirteenth letter of the Semitic abjads, including Hebrew Mēm מ, Aramaic Mem , Syriac Mīm ܡܡ, Arabic Mīm م and Phoenician Mēm . Its value is.

The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or early eighth century BC. It is derived from the earlier Phoenician alphabet, and was the first alphabetic script to have distinct letters for vowels as well as consonants. In Archaic and early Classical times, the Greek alphabet existed in many different local variants, but, by the end of the fourth century BC, the Eucleidean alphabet, with twenty-four letters, ordered from alpha to omega, had become standard and it is this version that is still used to write Greek today. These twenty-four letters are: Α α, Β β, Γ γ, Δ δ, Ε ε, Ζ ζ, Η η, Θ θ, Ι ι, Κ κ, Λ λ, Μ μ, Ν ν, Ξ ξ, Ο ο, Π π, Ρ ρ, Σ σ/ς, Τ τ, Υ υ, Φ φ, Χ χ, Ψ ψ, and Ω ω.

Use in writing systems

The letter m represents the bilabial nasal consonant sound [ m ] in the orthography of Latin as well as in that of many modern languages, and also in the International Phonetic Alphabet. In English, the Oxford English Dictionary (first edition) says that m is sometimes a vowel in words like spasm and in the suffix -ism. In modern terminology, this is described as a syllabic consonant (IPA [m̩]).

The bilabial nasal is a type of consonantal sound used in almost all spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨m⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is m. The bilabial nasal occurs in English, and it is the sound represented by "m" in map and rum.

Language Capacity to communicate using signs, such as words or gestures

Language is a system that consists of the development, acquisition, maintenance and use of complex systems of communication, particularly the human ability to do so; and a language is any specific example of such a system.

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin alphabet. It was devised by the International Phonetic Association in the late 19th century as a standardized representation of the sounds of spoken language. The IPA is used by lexicographers, foreign language students and teachers, linguists, speech-language pathologists, singers, actors, constructed language creators and translators.

In Washo, lower-case m represents a typical em sound, while upper-case M represents a voiceless em sound.

Washo language language

Washo is an endangered Native American language isolate spoken by the Washo on the California–Nevada border in the drainages of the Truckee and Carson Rivers, especially around Lake Tahoe. While there are only 20 elderly native speakers of Washo, since 1994 there has been a small immersion school that has produced a number of moderately fluent younger speakers. The immersion school has since closed its doors and the language program now operates through the Cultural Resource Department for the Washoe Tribe. The language is still very much endangered; however, there has been a renaissance in the language revitalization movement as many of the students who attended the original immersion school have become teachers.

In linguistics, voicelessness is the property of sounds being pronounced without the larynx vibrating. Phonologically, it is a type of phonation, which contrasts with other states of the larynx, but some object that the word phonation implies voicing and that voicelessness is the lack of phonation.

Other uses

1000 or one thousand is the natural number following 999 and preceding 1001. In most English-speaking countries, it is often written with a comma separating the thousands unit: 1,000. In analogy to the term century for '100 years' the time lapse of 1,000 years is sometimes termed, after the Greek root, chiliad. A chiliad of other objects means 1,000 of them.

A unit prefix is a specifier or mnemonic that is prepended to units of measurement to indicate multiples or fractions of the units. Units of various sizes are commonly formed by the use of such prefixes. The prefixes of the metric system, such as kilo and milli, represent multiplication by powers of ten. In information technology it is common to use binary prefixes, which are based on powers of two. Historically, many prefixes have been used or proposed by various sources, but only a narrow set has been recognised by standards organisations.

The metre or meter is the base unit of length in the International System of Units (SI). The SI unit symbol is m. The metre is defined as the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum in 1/299 792 458 of a second.

A diacritic – also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent – is a glyph added to a letter, or basic glyph. The term derives from the Ancient Greek διακριτικός, from διακρίνω. Diacritic is primarily an adjective, though sometimes used as a noun, whereas diacritical is only ever an adjective. Some diacritical marks, such as the acute ( ´ ) and grave ( ` ), are often called accents. Diacritical marks may appear above or below a letter, or in some other position such as within the letter or between two letters.

Ḿ letter of the Latin alphabet

It was used in an old version of the Sorbian alphabet.

When used as a diacritic mark, the term dot is usually reserved for the Interpunct, or to the glyphs 'combining dot above' ( ◌̇ ) and 'combining dot below' ( ◌̣ ) which may be combined with some letters of the extended Latin alphabets in use in Central European languages and Vietnamese.

Ancestors and siblings in other alphabets

Ligatures and abbreviations

Computing codes

Unicode 77U+004D109U+006D
UTF-8 774D1096D
Numeric character reference MMmm
EBCDIC family212D414894
ASCII 1774D1096D
1Also for encodings based on ASCII, including the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859 and Macintosh families of encodings.

Other representations

NATO phonetic Morse code
Mike ––
ICS Mike.svg Semaphore Mike.svg Sign language M.svg Braille M.svg
Signal flag Flag semaphore American manual alphabet (ASL fingerspelling) Braille

Related Research Articles

A First letter of the Latin alphabet

A is the first letter and the first vowel of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. It is similar to the Ancient Greek letter alpha, from which it derives. The uppercase version consists of the two slanting sides of a triangle, crossed in the middle by a horizontal bar. The lowercase version can be written in two forms: the double-storey a and single-storey ɑ. The latter is commonly used in handwriting and fonts based on it, especially fonts intended to be read by children, and is also found in italic type.

F letter in the Latin alphabet

F is the sixth letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

K letter of the Latin Alphabet

K is the eleventh letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. In English, the letter K usually represents the voiceless velar plosive.

N Letter of the Latin Alphabet

N is the fourteenth letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

O letter of the Latin Alphabet

O is the 15th letter and the fourth vowel in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

R letter in the Latin alphabet

R is the 18th letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

S 19th letter in the English alphabet

S is the 19th letter in the Modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

T letter of the Latin alphabet

T is the 20th letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. It is derived from the Semitic letter taw via the Greek letter tau. In English, it is most commonly used to represent the voiceless alveolar plosive, a sound it also denotes in the International Phonetic Alphabet. It is the most commonly used consonant and the second most common letter in English-language texts.

Eng (letter) letter

Eng or engma is a letter of the Latin alphabet, used to represent a velar nasal in the written form of some languages and in the International Phonetic Alphabet.

Kra (letter) letter of the Latin alphabet

Kra is a glyph formerly used to write the Kalaallisut language of Greenland and is now only found in Nunatsiavummiutut, a distinct Inuktitut dialect. It is visually similar to a Latin small capital letter K and the Greek letter kappa κ.

Latin alpha letter of the Latin script

Latin alpha or script a is a letter of the Latin alphabet, based on one lowercase form of a, or on the Greek lowercase alpha (α).

Open o is a letter of the extended Latin alphabet. In the International Phonetic Alphabet, it represents the open-mid back rounded vowel. It is used in the orthographies of many African languages using the African reference alphabet.


  1. "M" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1993); "em," op. cit.
  2. See F. Simons, "Proto-Sinaitic — Progenitor of the Alphabet" Rosetta 9 (2011): Figure Two: "Representative selection of proto-Sinaitic characters with comparison to Egyptian hieroglyphs", (p. 38) Figure Three: "Chart of all early proto-Canaanite letters with comparison to proto-Sinaitic signs" (p. 39), Figure Four: "Representative selection of later proto-Canaanite letters with comparison to early proto-Canaanite and proto-Sinaitic signs" (p. 40). See also: Goldwasser (2010), following Albright (1966), "Schematic Table of Proto-Sinaitic Characters" (fig. 1).
  3. Gordon, Arthur E. (1983). Illustrated Introduction to Latin Epigraphy. University of California Press. p. 45. ISBN   9780520038981 . Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  4. Constable, Peter (2003-09-30). "L2/03-174R2: Proposal to Encode Phonetic Symbols with Middle Tilde in the UCS" (PDF).
  5. Everson, Michael; et al. (2002-03-20). "L2/02-141: Uralic Phonetic Alphabet characters for the UCS" (PDF).
  6. Ruppel, Klaas; Aalto, Tero; Everson, Michael (2009-01-27). "L2/09-028: Proposal to encode additional characters for the Uralic Phonetic Alphabet" (PDF).
  7. Everson, Michael; Dicklberger, Alois; Pentzlin, Karl; Wandl-Vogt, Eveline (2011-06-02). "L2/11-202: Revised proposal to encode "Teuthonista" phonetic characters in the UCS" (PDF).
  8. Constable, Peter (2004-04-19). "L2/04-132 Proposal to add additional phonetic characters to the UCS" (PDF).
  9. 1 2 Perry, David J. (2006-08-01). "L2/06-269: Proposal to Add Additional Ancient Roman Characters to UCS" (PDF).