Meaning of ? in English:

?

(also ?)

noun

  • A letter used in Old English to represent a vowel intermediate between a and e and from the 16th century onwards used in Latin or Latinized Greek words, representing an original diphthong ae or ai.

    ‘To represent sounds not found in the Irish and Latin languages, the monks had to adapt versions of the Runic alphabet for the letters w, t, e, and ?.’
    See also ash
    • ‘They used the letter ?, which we do not use.’
    • ‘Furthermore the examples above show that Old English uses the letters ? and t that are not used in Modern English anymore.’
    • ‘In addition, because the Roman alphabet had no letters to correspond with certain Old English sounds, additional letters were added: "?", "t", and "e".’
    • ‘The letter ? was extraneous in even the earliest texts because the sound /?/ had disappeared from Germanic languages by the 3rd century CE, yet it existed in the alphabet (that is, it would always appear in a list of all the letters).’