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, rage.

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.