Powered by
Share this page on
Article provided by Wikipedia

X x
("See below)
""Writing cursive forms of X
Writing system "Latin script
Type "Alphabetic and "Logographic
Language of origin "Latin language
"Greek language
Phonetic usage ["x]
Unicode value U+0058, U+0078
Alphabetical position 24
(speculated origin)
Time period ~-700 to present
Descendants  • "×
 • "
 • "
 • "
 • "
 • "
 • "
Sisters "Х
" "
" "
Variations ("See below)
Other letters commonly used with "x(x)

X ("named ex "/ɛks/, plural exes[1]) is the 24th and "antepenultimate "letter in the "modern English alphabet and the "ISO basic Latin alphabet.



Greek "Chi Etruscan
""Chi uc lc.svg ""EtruscanX-01.svg

In "Ancient Greek, 'Χ' and 'Ψ' were among several variants of the same letter, used originally for /kʰ/ and later, in western areas such as "Arcadia, as a simplification of the "digraph 'ΧΣ' for /ks/. In the end, more conservative eastern forms became the standard of "Classical Greek, and thus 'Χ' ("Chi) stands for /kʰ/ (later /x/). However, the "Etruscans had taken over 'Χ' from western Greek, and it therefore stands for /ks/ in Etruscan and "Latin.["citation needed]

The letter 'Χ' ~ 'Ψ' for /kʰ/ was a Greek addition to the alphabet, placed after the Semitic letters along with "phi 'Φ' for /pʰ/.["citation needed]

Use in writing systems[edit]


In "English orthography, ⟨x⟩ is typically pronounced as the voiceless consonant cluster "/ks/ when it follows the stressed vowel (e.g. ox), and the voiced consonant "/ɡz/ when it precedes the stressed vowel (e.g. exam). It is also pronounced "/ɡz/ when it precedes a silent ⟨h⟩ and a stressed vowel (e.g. exhaust).[2] Before ⟨i⟩ or ⟨u⟩, it can be pronounced "/kʃ/ or "/ɡʒ/ (e.g. sexual and luxury); these result from earlier "/ksj/ and "/ɡzj/. It also makes the sound "/kʃ/ in words ending in -xion (typically used only in "British-based spellings of the language; American spellings tend to use -ction). When ⟨x⟩ ends a word, it is always "/ks/ (e.g. fax), except in loan words such as faux (see French, below).

There are very few English words that start with ⟨x⟩ (the fewest number of any letter). When ⟨x⟩ does start a word, it is usually pronounced "/z/ (e.g. xylophone, xenophobia, and xanthan); in rare recent loanwords or foreign proper names, it can also be pronounced "/s/ (e.g. the obsolete Vietnamese monetary unit xu) or "/ʃ/ (e.g. Chinese names starting with Xi like "Xiaomi or "Xinjiang). Many of the words that start with ⟨x⟩ are of "Greek origin, or standardized trademarks ("Xerox) or acronyms (XC). In abbreviations, it can represent "trans-" (e.g. XMIT for transmit, XFER for transfer), "cross-" (e.g. X-ing for crossing, XREF for "cross-reference), "Christ-" as shorthand for the "labarum (e.g. Xmas for Christmas, Xian for Christian), the "crys-" in crystal (XTAL), or various words starting with "ex-" (e.g. XL for extra large, XOR for "exclusive-or).

X is the "third least frequently used letter in English (after ⟨q⟩ and ⟨z⟩), with a frequency of about 0.15% in words.[3]

Other languages[edit]

In Latin, ⟨x⟩ stood for [ks]. In some languages, as a result of assorted phonetic changes, handwriting adaptations or simply spelling convention, ⟨x⟩ has other pronunciations:

Additionally, in languages for which the "Latin alphabet has been adapted only recently, ⟨x⟩ has been used for various sounds, in some cases inspired by European usage, but in others, for consonants uncommon in Europe. For these no Latin letter stands out as an obvious choice, and since most of the various European pronunciations of ⟨x⟩ can be written by other means, the letter becomes available for more unusual sounds.

Other systems[edit]

In the "International Phonetic Alphabet, ⟨x⟩ represents a "voiceless velar fricative.

Other uses[edit]

In "mathematics, x is commonly used as the name for an "independent variable or unknown value. The modern tradition of using x to represent an unknown was introduced by "René Descartes in "La Géométrie (1637).[5] As a result of its use in "algebra, X is often used to represent unknowns in other circumstances (e.g. "X-rays, "Generation X, "The X-Files, and "The Man from Planet X; see also "Malcolm X).

In the "Cartesian coordinate system, x is used to refer to the horizontal axis.

It may also be used as a "typographic approximation for the multiplication sign. In mathematical typesetting, x meaning an algebraic variable is normally in "italic type (), partly to avoid confusion with the multiplication symbol. In fonts containing both x (the letter) and × (the multiplication sign), the two glyphs are dissimilar.

It can be used as an abbreviation for 'between' in the context of historical dating; e.g., '1483 x 1485'.

Maps and other images sometimes use an X to label a specific location, leading to the expression "X marks the spot".[6]

The "Roman numeral Ⅹ represents the number "10.[7][8]

In art or fashion, the use of X indicates a collaboration by two or more artists, e.g. Aaron Koblin x Takashi Kawashima. This application, which originated in Japan, now extends to other kinds of collaboration outside the art world.[9]

Related characters[edit]

Descendants and related characters in the Latin alphabet[edit]

Ancestors and siblings in other alphabets[edit]

Computing codes[edit]

Character X x
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
"Unicode 88 U+0058 120 U+0078
"UTF-8 88 58 120 78
"Numeric character reference X X x x
"EBCDIC family 231 E7 167 A7
"ASCII 1 88 58 120 78
1 Also for encodings based on ASCII, including the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859 and Macintosh families of encodings.

In the "C programming language, 'x' preceded by zero (0x or 0X) is used to denote hexadecimal literal values.

Other representations[edit]

"NATO phonetic "Morse code
X-ray –··–
""ICS X-ray.svg ""Semaphore X-ray.svg ""Sign language X.svg ""⠭
"Signal flag "Flag semaphore "American manual alphabet ("ASL "fingerspelling) "Braille

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "X", "Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1993); "ex", op. cit.
  2. ^ Venezky, Richard (1 January 1970). The Structure of English Orthography. Walter de Gruyter. p. 40. "ISBN "978-3-11-080447-8. 
  3. ^ Mička, Pavel. "Letter frequency (English)". Algoritmy.net. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Dizionario di ortografia e pronunzia" [Dictionary of Spelling and Pronunciation]. Dizionario di ortografia e pronunzia (in Italian). Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  5. ^ Cajori, Florian (1928). A History of Mathematical Notations. Chicago: Open Court Publishing. p. 381.  See "History of algebra.
  6. ^ "X marks the spot". Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  7. ^ Gordon, Arthur E. (1983). Illustrated Introduction to Latin Epigraphy. University of California Press. p. 44. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  8. ^ King, David A. (2001). The Ciphers of the Monks. p. 282. In the course of time, I, V and X became identical with three letters of the alphabet; originally, however, they bore no relation to these letters. 
  9. ^ http://arkitip.com/product/x-mark-of-collaboration-issue-no-0053x/
  10. ^ Constable, Peter (2004-04-19). "L2/04-132 Proposal to add additional phonetic characters to the UCS" (PDF). 
  11. ^ Everson, Michael; Dicklberger, Alois; Pentzlin, Karl; Wandl-Vogt, Eveline (2011-06-02). "L2/11-202: Revised proposal to encode "Teuthonista" phonetic characters in the UCS" (PDF). 
  12. ^ Anderson, Deborah; Everson, Michael (2004-06-07). "L2/04-191: Proposal to encode six Indo-Europeanist phonetic characters in the UCS" (PDF). 

External links[edit]

) ) WikipediaAudio is not affiliated with Wikipedia or the WikiMedia Foundation.