X

X, 24th letter of the alphabet . In English it has no peculiar sound, but stands for the combination ks as in fox, or gz as in exempt, or, initially, for the sound of z as in xenia. In words from Greek, x transliterates the 14th Greek letter, xi, a letter perhaps quite unrelated to the Roman x in form. The formal Greek correspondent of x was chi, hence it is used in phonetics to represent a velar fricative like ch in loch. As the initial of the name Christ, X has become a symbol for it, e.g., in Xmas and in the monogram XP (chi rho). In Roman numerals X stands for 10.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.