n. (also j) (pl. Js or J's)
1 the tenth letter of the alphabet.
2 (as a Roman numeral) = i in a final position (ij; vj).
abbr. (also J.)
* * *1. the tenth letter of the English alphabet: »
Few English words have two j's.2. any sound represented by this letter.3. (used as a symbol for) the tenth (of an actual or possible series): »
row J in a theater.anything shaped like the letter J: »
A spur…ran out toward the west and formed a large “J” with the curve facing the south (Outing).j (no period),1. the Roman numeral for 1, chiefly at the end of a series, as in iij, still used in prescriptions.2. jewel (as in a watch).j.,Physics. joule.J (no period),1. jet.2. Physics. joule.J.,1. journal.2. judge.3. justice.
* * *I [jā]1) the tenth letter of the alphabet■ denoting the next after I (or H if I is omitted) in a set of items, categories, etc2) J a shape like that of a capital J3) archaic used instead of I as the Roman numeral for one in final positionII
between ij and iij of the clockabbr.■ jack (used in describing play in card games)
J. Biol. Chem■ Judge■ Justice
* * *: the 10th letter of the English alphabet[count]
a word that begins with a j[noncount]
a word that begins with j
* * *the 10th letter of the English alphabet
‘Jelly’ begins with (a) J/‘J’.
* * *J(dʒeɪ)the tenth letter of the alphabet in English and other modern languages, is, in its origin, a comparatively late modification of the letter I. In the ancient Roman alphabet, I, besides its vowel value in ibīdem, mīlitis, had the kindred consonantal value of modern English Y, as in iactus, iam, Iouem, iūstus, adiūro, maior, peior. Some time before the 6th century, this y-sound had, by compression in articulation, and consequent development of an initial ‘stop’, become a consonantal diphthong, passing through a sound (dj), akin to that of our di, de, in odious, hideous, to that represented in our phonetic symbolization by (dʒ). At the same time, the original guttural sound of G, when followed by a front vowel, had changed to that of palatal g (ɟ, gj), and then, by an advance of the point of closure, had passed through that of (dj), to the same sound (dʒ); so that i consonant and the so-called g ‘soft’ came to have, in the Romanic languages, the same identical value. In Italian, this new sound is represented by g before e and i, gi before a, o, and u. Thus, L. gestus, Iēsūs, iam, iocāre, iūdicem, are represented in Italian by gesto, Gesù, già, giocare, giudice. But in the other Romanic languages, the letter I was retained with the changed sound, so that, in these, i consonant and g ‘soft’ were equivalent symbols, distinguished only by derivation. In OF. the foregoing words were gest, Iesu, ia, ioer, iuge.In OE., i consonant, so far as it was used, had (as still in all the continental Germanic languages) its Latin value (j), equivalent to OE. ᵹe, ᵹi, or e before certain vowels; thus we find iá, iól, iow, iuacu, iuᵹoð, iung, as occasional spellings of the words commonly written ᵹeá, ᵹeól, eow, ᵹeó (ᵹió, ᵹiuacu), ᵹeoᵹoð (ᵹioᵹoð), ᵹeong (ᵹiong, ᵹiung). This was especially the case with foreign proper names and other words known through Latin, as Ianuarius, Iob, Iofes (= Jove), Iudéa, Iudéisc, iacinþ, and the ethnic name Iótas, Iuacutan (rarely Eotas), now rendered ‘Jutes’. But the French orthography introduced by the Norman Conquest brought in the Old French value of i consonant = g ‘soft’ (dʒ); a sound which English has ever since retained in words derived from that source, although in French itself the sound was subsequently, by loss of its first element, simplified to (ʒ).From the 11th to the 17th c., then, the letter I i represented at once the vowel sound of i, and a consonant sound (dʒ), far removed from the vowel. Meanwhile, the minuteness and inconspicuousness of the small ı, and its liability, especially in cursive writing, to be confounded with one of the strokes of an adjacent letter, had led in mediæval Latin and general European writing, and thus also in English, to various scribal expedients in order to keep it distinct. (See I.) Among these, an initial ı was often prolonged above or below the line, or both; a final ı was generally prolonged below the line, and in both cases the prolonged part or ‘tail’ came at length in cursive writing to be terminated with a curve; thus arose the forms dlessj1, dlessj2, dlessj3. The ‘dot’, used to individualize the minuscule i, was also used with the tailed form, and thus came the modern j, j. But this was at first merely a final form of i, used in Latin in such forms as ‘filij’, and in numerals, as j, ij, iij, vj, viij, xij. It was very little used in English, where y had previously been substituted for final i; and it was not till the 17th c. that the device of utilizing the two forms of the letter, so that i, i, should remain as the vowel, and j, j, be used for the consonant, was established, and the capital forms of the latter, J, J, were introduced.The differentiation was made first in Spanish, where, from the very introduction of printing, we see j used for the consonant, and i only for the vowel. For the capitals, I had at first to stand for both (as it still does in German type, and in all varieties of Gothic or Black Letter); but before 1600 a capital J consonant began to appear in Spanish. (See, for example, Minsheu's Spanish Dictionary of 1599, where I and J are strictly distinguished, though the I and J words are put in one series.) In German typography, almost from the first, some printers employed a tailed form of the letter dlessj3 or j initially, to distinguish the consonant sound; but this was by no means generally established till much later. According to Watt (Bibliotheca Britannica), Louis Elzevir, who printed at Leyden 1595–1616, is generally credited with making the modern distinction of u and v, i and j, ‘which was shortly after followed by the introduction of U and J among the capitals by Lazarus Zetzner of Strasburg in 1619’. In England, individual attempts to differentiate i and j were made already in the 16th c., as by Richard Day, who printed books in London after 1578, and George Bishop, who printed the translation of La Primaudaye's French Academie in 1586, with i, j, u, v, differentiated as in modern use, but had no capital J or U. The J j types are not used in the Bible of 1611, nor in the text of the Shakespeare Folio of 1623 (but see jig); these have I i for both values; but the latter has a capital Italic plantinJ in headlines in the proper names plantinJohn, plantinJuliet, plantinJulius, and in the colophon, list of actors, etc., thus showing a tendency to use this (in its origin merely an ornamental variety of I) as a J. In Cotgrave's French-English Dictionary printed in 1611 (and in the reprint of it in 1632), the Roman type used for the French has no capital J, and uses I with both values, but it has the small j which is regularly used in the French words: thus Iustice, Ajuster. On the other hand, the italic type, in which the English is printed, has no small j, and uses i for both vowel and consonant; it has the two capitals, I and plantinJ, but uses them indiscriminately for the consonant: thus Ioyau: m. A Jewell; Ioyaulier: m. A Ieweller. Frequently plantinJ is used also for the vowel: thus Ingenieusement: plantinJngeniously; Ingenieux: Ingenious. Thus even when the types I and plantinJ were at hand, their use was not yet regulated. But during the decade which followed 1625, J, j, J, j, appear to have been gradually added to all founts of type, and the present usage of restricting I i to the vowel, J j to the consonant appears to have been generally established soon after 1630. (See, under U and V, the similar differentiation of U u vowel, and V v consonant, from the earlier V v initial, u medial and final.)But though the differentiation of I and J, in form and value, was thus completed before 1640, the feeling that they were, notwithstanding, merely forms of the same letter continued for many generations; a vestige of it is still seen in the practice of many persons, who in script write the I form (ℐ) for both ℐand
Useful english dictionary. 2012.