L

L
L L ([e^]l) n. 1. L is the twelfth letter of the English alphabet, and a vocal consonant. It is usually called a semivowel or liquid. Its form and value are from the Greek, through the Latin, the form of the Greek letter being from the Ph[oe]nician, and the ultimate origin prob. Egyptian. Etymologically, it is most closely related to r and u; as in pilgrim, peregrine, couch (fr. collocare), aubura (fr. LL. alburnus). [1913 Webster]

Note: At the end of monosyllables containing a single vowel, it is often doubled, as in fall, full, bell; but not after digraphs, as in foul, fool, prowl, growl, foal. In English words, the terminating syllable le is unaccented, the e is silent, and l is preceded by a voice glide, as in able, eagle, pronounced [=a]"b'l, [=e]"g'l. See Guide to Pronunciation, [sect]241. [1913 Webster]

2. As a numeral, L stands for fifty in the English, as in the Latin language. [1913 Webster]

For 50 the Romans used the Chalcidian chi, ?, which assumed the less difficult lapidary type, ?, and was then easily assimilated to L. --I. Taylor (The Alphabet). [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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