Y n.; pl. Y's or Ys. Something shaped like the letter Y; a forked piece resembling in form the letter Y. Specifically: (a) One of the forked holders for supporting the telescope of a leveling instrument, or the axis of a theodolite; a wye. (b) A forked or bifurcated pipe fitting. (c) Railroads A portion of track consisting of two diverging tracks connected by a cross track.
Y level Surv., an instrument for measuring differences of level by means of a telescope resting in Y's.
Y moth Zool., a handsome European noctuid moth Plusia gamma) which has a bright, silvery mark, shaped like the letter Y, on each of the fore wings. Its larva, which is green with five dorsal white species, feeds on the cabbage, turnip, bean, etc. Called also gamma moth, and silver Y.
Y Y, the twenty-fifth letter of the English alphabet, at the beginning of a word or syllable, except when a prefix (see Y-), is usually a fricative vocal consonant; as a prefix, and usually in the middle or at the end of a syllable, it is a vowel. See Guide to Pronunciation, §§ 145, 178-9, 272.
Note: It derives its form from the Latin Y, which is from the Greek Υ, originally the same letter as V. Etymologically, it is most nearly related to u, i, o, and j. g; as in full, fill, AS. fyllan; E. crypt, grotto; young, juvenile; day, AS. dæg. See U, I, and J, G.
Note: ☞ Y has been called the Pythagorean letter, because the Greek letter Υ was taken to represent the sacred triad, formed by the duad proceeding from the monad; and also because it represents the dividing of the paths of vice and virtue in the development of human life.
Y pron. I. [Obs.]
n 1: a silvery metallic element that is common in rare-earth
minerals; used in magnesium and aluminum alloys [syn: yttrium,
atomic number 39]
2: the 25th letter of the Roman alphabet