Pronunciation: (bē), [key]
pl. B's or Bs, b's or bs.

1. the second letter of the English alphabet, a consonant.
2. any spoken sound represented by the letter B or b, as in bid, bauble, or daubed.
3. something having the shape of a B.
4. a written or printed representation of the letter B or b.
5. a device, as a printer's type, for reproducing the letter B or b.


1. Chess.bishop.
2. black.
3. Photog.bulb (def. 8).


1. the second in order or in a series.
2. (sometimes l.c.) (in some grading systems) a grade or mark, as in school or college, indicating the quality of a student's work as good or better than average.
3. (sometimes l.c.) (in some school systems) a symbol designating the second semester of a school year.
4. Physiol.a major blood group usually enabling a person whose blood is of this type to donate blood to persons of type B or AB and to receive blood from persons of type O or B. Cf. ABO system.
5. Music.
a. the seventh tone in the scale of C major or the second tone in the relative minor scale, A minor.
b. a string, key, or pipe tuned to this tone.
c. a written or printed note representing this tone.
d. (in the fixed system of solmization) the seventh tone of the scale of C major, called ti.
e. the tonality having B as the tonic note.
6. (sometimes l.c.) the medieval Roman numeral for 300.
7. Chem.boron.
8. a proportional shoe width size, narrower than C and wider than A.
9. a proportional brassiere cup size, smaller than C and larger than A.
10. Physics.See magnetic induction.
11. Elect.susceptance.
12. a designation for a motion picture made on a low budget and meant as the secondary part of a double feature.
13. a quality rating for a corporate or municipal bond, lower than BB and higher than CCC.


1. Physics.
a. bar; bars.
b. barn; barns.
2. black.


1. bachelor.
2. bacillus.
3. Baseball.base; baseman.
4. bass.
5. basso.
6. bay.
7. Bible.
8. bolivar.
9. boliviano.
10. book.
11. born.
12. breadth.
13. British.
14. brother.
15. brotherhood.


1. bachelor.
2. bale.
3. Baseball.base; baseman.
4. bass.
5. basso.
6. bay.
7. billion.
8. blend of; blended.
9. book.
10. born.
11. breadth.
12. brother.
13. brotherhood.


U.S. Mil.
(in designations of aircraft) bomber: B-29.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.


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