E (ē). 1. The fifth letter of
the English alphabet. It derives its form, name, and value from
the Latin, the form and value being further derived from the Greek,
into which it came from the Phœnician, and ultimately,
probably, from the Egyptian. Its etymological relations are closest
with the vowels i, a, and o, as illustrated by
to fall, to fell; man, pl. men;
drink, drank, drench; dint, dent;
doom, deem; goose, pl. geese;
beef, OF. boef, L. bos; and E. cheer, OF.
chiere, LL. cara.
The letter e has in English several vowel sounds, the two
principal being its long or name sound, as in eve, me,
and the short, as in end, best. Usually at the end of
words it is silent, but serves to indicate that the preceding vowel
has its long sound, where otherwise it would be short, as in
māne, cāne, mēte, which
without the final e would be pronounced măn,
căn, mĕt. After c and g,
the final e indicates that these letters are to be pronounced
as s and j; respectively, as in lace,
See Guide to Pronunciation, §§ 74-97.
2. (Mus.) E is the third tone of the
model diatonic scale. E♭ (E flat) is a tone which is
intermediate between D and E.