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’
      • ‘The drivers are not concentrating and just going from A to B to distribute the goods.’
      • ‘Ask the ‘British Bobby’ for the nearest toilet or how to get from A to B, it is all part of his job.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As well as finding you the best way from A to B, the operators can also provide an emergency and breakdown service.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘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.’
  • from A to Z

    • Over the entire range; completely.

      ‘make sure you understand the subject from A to Z’
      • ‘If everything is explained to us, from A to Z, then even an idiot can grasp it.’
      • ‘The person has to fit from A to Z or else they're just not wanted.’
      • ‘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 process moves from A to Z without cutting corners.’
      • ‘They moved in with a heavy barrage of speculation from A to Z.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They could argue about who was smarter, who the teachers liked best, anything from A to Z they could argue about.’
      • ‘It wouldn't be something I'd have to take from A to Z, point-by-point, and argue and describe.’
      • ‘Going through your list of accounts from A to Z won't really work.’
  • 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
      • ‘We had a review in the first week of the work to see if plan A was still the best way forward.’
      • ‘Why not just carry on with Plan A as if nothing has happened?’
      • ‘Plan A is actually just to turn up on the day and make it up.’
      • ‘However, since football is now a 16-man game, he can bring on talented substitutes if plan A is not working.’
      • ‘We can't even resort to Plan B these days because we haven't got a Plan A!’
      • ‘I think the only reason you're back now is because Plan A disintegrated and I'm your contingency.’
      • ‘If their coaches are talking differently October 1, you'll know Plan A didn't quite work.’
      • ‘Plan A, to propose on Detonator, backfired when she saw the ride on the website and refused to go on it.’
      • ‘Business as usual - Plan A - is clearly not working.’
      • ‘You've got to still have a Plan B if Plan A doesn't work.’
      • ‘Plan A, business as usual, is no longer a viable option.’
      • ‘I don't know what plan A was, but it evidently failed.’
      • ‘That's plan A, but I've a number of other plans.’
      • ‘You either continue with plan A, or you look at alternatives.’
      • ‘We had Plan A and Plan B and Plan C.’
      • ‘This is plan A; this is what I plan to do.’
      • ‘Have a plan B in case plan A fails.’
      • ‘Fortunately, I have appealing contingency plans, but still first I'll apply myself to plan A with all my strength.’
      • ‘Plan A had been for me to travel with Connie on the train, but there were no seats available.’