noun

  • 1The first letter of the alphabet.

    1. 1.1 Denoting the first in a set of items, categories, sizes, etc.
    2. 1.2 Denoting the first of two or more hypothetical people or things.
      ‘suppose A had killed B’
    3. 1.3 The highest class of academic mark.
      ‘a dazzling array of straight A's’
    4. 1.4 (in the UK) denoting the most important category of road, other than a motorway.
      ‘the A34’
      ‘busy A-roads’
    5. 1.5 Denoting the highest-earning socio-economic category for marketing purposes, including top management and senior professional personnel.
    6. 1.6Chess Denoting the first file from the left, as viewed from White's side of the board.
    7. 1.7 The first constant to appear in an algebraic expression.
    8. 1.8Geology Denoting the uppermost soil horizon, especially the topsoil.
    9. 1.9 The human blood type (in the ABO system) containing the A antigen and lacking the B.
    10. 1.10 (with numeral) denoting a series of international standard paper sizes each twice the area of the next, as A0, A1, A2, A3, A4, etc., A4 being 210 × 297 mm.
  • 2A shape like that of a capital A.

    in combination ‘an A-shape’
  • 3Music
    The sixth note of the diatonic scale of C major. The A above middle C is usually used as the basis for tuning and in modern music has a standard frequency of 440 Hz.

    1. 3.1 A key based on a scale with A as its keynote.

Phrases

  • from A to B

    • From one's starting point to one's destination.

      ‘most road atlases will get you from A to B’
      • ‘How else would you get someone from A to B unless you've used an airplane?’
      • ‘She said: ‘People will still be able to get from A to B - it may just take them that bit longer.’’
      • ‘Ask the ‘British Bobby’ for the nearest toilet or how to get from A to B, it is all part of his job.’
      • ‘The drivers are not concentrating and just going from A to B to distribute the goods.’
      • ‘As well as finding you the best way from A to B, the operators can also provide an emergency and breakdown service.’
      • ‘It must also be rather boring and predictable sailing directly and single-mindedly from A to B to C.’
      • ‘You could go from A to B directly, walking fast, neglecting the scenery, or instead you could choose to take your time.’
      • ‘People who need to travel from A to B will take an alternative route.’
      • ‘We need to put all the other things to one side and get from A to B safely at the appropriate speed.’
      • ‘I wanted to show people how to get from A to B in your life.’
  • from A to Z

    • Over the entire range; completely.

      ‘make sure you understand the subject from A to Z’
      • ‘Going through your list of accounts from A to Z won't really work.’
      • ‘It wouldn't be something I'd have to take from A to Z, point-by-point, and argue and describe.’
      • ‘If you complete all the steps from A to Z, the mission is a success.’
      • ‘Instead, the opposition wants an independent committee to oversee the election from A to Z.’
      • ‘The person has to fit from A to Z or else they're just not wanted.’
      • ‘The process moves from A to Z without cutting corners.’
      • ‘If everything is explained to us, from A to Z, then even an idiot can grasp it.’
      • ‘They moved in with a heavy barrage of speculation from A to Z.’
      • ‘They could argue about who was smarter, who the teachers liked best, anything from A to Z they could argue about.’
      • ‘Most of my work has been in the comedy genre, so it's a dream role to get a chance to play a character that has a trajectory from A to Z.’
  • plan A

    • One's original plan or strategy.

      ‘plan A having gone horribly wrong, Ferguson used the interval to change his formation’
      Compare with plan B
      • ‘I think the only reason you're back now is because Plan A disintegrated and I'm your contingency.’
      • ‘Plan A, business as usual, is no longer a viable option.’
      • ‘However, since football is now a 16-man game, he can bring on talented substitutes if plan A is not working.’
      • ‘You either continue with plan A, or you look at alternatives.’
      • ‘Plan A, to propose on Detonator, backfired when she saw the ride on the website and refused to go on it.’
      • ‘I don't know what plan A was, but it evidently failed.’
      • ‘Business as usual - Plan A - is clearly not working.’
      • ‘This is plan A; this is what I plan to do.’
      • ‘Fortunately, I have appealing contingency plans, but still first I'll apply myself to plan A with all my strength.’
      • ‘Why not just carry on with Plan A as if nothing has happened?’
      • ‘That's plan A, but I've a number of other plans.’
      • ‘We can't even resort to Plan B these days because we haven't got a Plan A!’
      • ‘You've got to still have a Plan B if Plan A doesn't work.’
      • ‘If their coaches are talking differently October 1, you'll know Plan A didn't quite work.’
      • ‘Have a plan B in case plan A fails.’
      • ‘We had a review in the first week of the work to see if plan A was still the best way forward.’
      • ‘We had Plan A and Plan B and Plan C.’
      • ‘Plan A is actually just to turn up on the day and make it up.’
      • ‘Plan A had been for me to travel with Connie on the train, but there were no seats available.’