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Basic Latin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd    
Ee Ff Gg Hh
Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn
Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt
Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz

M (/[unsupported input]ˈɛm/; named em)[1] is the thirteenth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.


The letter M is derived from the Phoenician Mem, via the Greek Mu (Μ, μ). Semitic Mem probably originally pictured water. It is known that Semitic people working in Egypt c. 2000 BC borrowed a hieroglyph for "water" that was first used for an alveolar nasal (/n/), because of the Egyptian word for water, "n-t". This same symbol became used for /m/ in Semitic, because their word for water began with that sound.

Egyptian hieroglyph "N" Proto-Semitic M Phoenician
Etruscan M Greek
Roman M
Proto-semiticM-01.png PhoenicianM-01.png EtruscanM-01.svg Mu uc lc.svg Roman M

The letter ‹m› represents the bilabial consonant sound, [m], in Classical languages as well as the modern languages. The Oxford English Dictionary (first edition) says that ‹m› is sometimes a vowel in words like spasm and in the suffix -ism. In modern terminology, this would be described as a syllabic consonant — IPA [m̩]

Computing codes

Alternative representations of M
NATO phonetic Morse code
Mike ––
ICS Mike.svg Semaphore Mike.svg ⠍
Signal flag Flag semaphore Braille

In Unicode the capital M is codepoint U+004D and the lower case m is U+006D.

The ASCII code for capital M is 77 and for lowercase m is 109; or in binary 01001101 and 01101101, correspondingly.

The EBCDIC code for capital M is 212 and for lowercase m is 148.

The numeric character references in HTML and XML are "M" and "m" for upper and lower case respectively.

See also


  1. "M" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1993); "em," op. cit.

ace:M af:M als:M ar:M an:M arc:M ast:M az:M zh-min-nan:M be:M, літара be-x-old:M (літара) bs:M br:M (lizherenn) bg:M ca:M cs:M co:M cy:M da:M de:M et:M el:M es:M eo:M eu:M fa:M fr:M (lettre) fy:M fur:M gv:Malpys (lettyr) gd:M gl:M gan:M xal:M үзг ko:M hr:M ilo:M id:M is:M it:M he:M ka:M kw:M sw:M ht:M ku:M (tîp) la:M lv:M lb:M lt:M hu:M mk:M (Латиница) mzn:M ms:M nah:M nl:M (letter) ja:M no:M (bokstav) nn:M nrm:M uz:M (harf) pl:M pt:M ro:M qu:M ru:M (латиница) se:M stq:M scn:M simple:M sk:M sl:M sr:M (слово латинице) sh:M fi:M sv:M tl:M th:M tr:M (harf) uk:M (латиниця) vec:M vi:M vo:M war:M yi:M yo:M zh-yue:M diq:M bat-smg:M zh:M