Blue Flower

A Vowel, and the first Letter of the English Alphabet. See LETTER, VOWEL, and ALPHABET ; where what relates to A, consider'd in each of those Capacities, is delivered. The Grammarians will needs have A the first Letter in all Languages ; and some of 'em assign a natural Reason for it, viz. that it is the most simple, and the easiest pronounc'd of all articulate Sounds. To confirm this, Jul. Scaligcr observes, that A is the first Sound Nature puts forth at the crying or smiling of Infants ; and that it needs no other Motion to form it, but a bare opening of the Lips. See VOICE.

in the Sea Language, denotes the Stern, or Hind-part of a Vessel ; call'd also AFT. See AFT. The Stern, strictly speaking, is only the Outside ; Abaft includes both inside and out. See STERN.

in Grammar, the sixth Case of Nouns. See CASE.

The Ablative is opposite to the Dative ; the first expressing the Aaion of taking away, and the latter that of giving. See DATIVE.

The Word is Latin, form'd ab auferendo, taking away. Priscian also calls it the Comparative Case ; as serving, among the Latins, for comparing, as well as taking away.

ABSOLUTE, in Philosophy and Theology. See ABSOLUTE.

In Grammar, we say, A Word is taken absolutely, Absolute sumptus, when it has no Regimen, or Government. Thus, in the Phrase "We shou'd pray without ceasing" ; the Word pray is taken absolutely, as it governs nothing.