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Basic Latin alphabet

M is the thirteenth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet. Its name in English (pronounced /ɛm/) is spelled em.[1]



The letter M derives its shape from the Phoenician Mem, via the Greek Mu (Μ, μ). Semitic Mem probably originally pictured water. It is known that Semitic people working in Egypt c. 2000 BC borrowed a hieroglyph for "water" that was first used for an alveolar nasal (/n/, because of the Egyptian word for water, "n-t". This same symbol became used for M in Semitic, because their word for water began with that sound.

Egyptian hieroglyph "M" Proto-Semitic M Phoenician M Etruscan M Greek MU Roman M

The letter M represents the bilabial nasal consonant sound, IPA: [m], in Classical languages as well as the modern languages. 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 would be described as a syllabic consonant — IPA [m̩].

Codes for computing

Alternative representations of M
NATO phonetic Morse code
Mike ––
Signal flag Flag semaphore Braille

In Unicode the capital M is codepoint U+004D and the lower case m is U+006D.

The ASCII code for capital M is 77 and for lowercase m is 109; or in binary 01001101 and 01101101, correspondingly.

The EBCDIC code for capital M is 212 and for lowercase m is 148.

The numeric character references in HTML and XML are "M" and "m" for upper and lower case respectively.

See also


  1. ^ "M" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1993); "em," op. cit.
The Basic modern Latin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz
Letter M with diacritics

history palaeography derivations diacritics punctuation numerals Unicode list of letters ISO/IEC 646


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


The Latin script
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz
Variations of letter M

ḿ ɱ

Letters using dot sign


lower case (upper case )

  1. The letter m with a dot above.

Simple English

The Latin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd
Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj
Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp
Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv
Ww Xx Yy Zz

M is the thirteenth (number 13) letter in the English alphabet.

Meanings for M

Simple English Wiktionary has the word meaning for:

Citable sentences

Up to date as of December 18, 2010

Here are sentences from other pages on Mafia, which are similar to those in the above article.

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