ʽayn – Definition & Meaning

The Arabic language is one of the most beautiful and complex languages in the world. It has a rich vocabulary and a unique script that is written from right to left. One of the most interesting and important letters in the Arabic alphabet is ʽayn. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of ʽayn, its origin, and its associations.


ʽayn is the eighteenth letter of the Arabic alphabet. It is a consonant and is pronounced as a guttural sound. The letter ʽayn is often transliterated as ‘a’ or ‘e’. In Arabic, ʽayn has several meanings, including ‘eye’, ‘spring’, ‘source’, and ‘essence’.


The letter ʽayn has its roots in the ancient Semitic language. It is believed to have originated from the Phoenician letter ‘ayin, which means ‘eye’. The Phoenician letter was adopted by the Aramaic language and then by the Arabic language.

Meaning in different dictionaries

In Arabic dictionaries, ʽayn is defined as the eighteenth letter of the alphabet and is often associated with the meanings of ‘eye’, ‘spring’, ‘source’, and ‘essence’. In English dictionaries, the word ʽayn is not listed, as it is a letter in the Arabic alphabet.


In Arabic, ʽayn is often associated with the concept of sight. The word ‘ayn’ means ‘eye’, and the letter ʽayn is used to represent the sound of the word. In addition to sight, ʽayn is also associated with the concepts of water, life, and wisdom.


As ʽayn is a letter in the Arabic alphabet, it does not have synonyms in the traditional sense. However, some words that are associated with ʽayn include ‘eye’, ‘spring’, ‘source’, and ‘essence’.


As with synonyms, ʽayn does not have antonyms in the traditional sense, as it is a letter in the Arabic alphabet. However, some words that are opposite in meaning to the concepts associated with ʽayn include ‘blindness’, ‘drought’, ‘deprivation’, and ‘ignorance’.

The same root words

In Arabic, many words are derived from the same root letters. The root letters of ʽayn are ‘ayn’, ‘waw’, and ‘nun’. Some words that are derived from these root letters include ‘ayn al-hayat’ (the fountain of life), ‘ayn al-ilm’ (the source of knowledge), and ‘ayn al-wisam’ (the essence of chivalry).

Example Sentences

Here are some example sentences that use the letter ʽayn:

  • الماء ينبع من عين الجبل (Al-ma’ yunbu’ min ʽayn al-jabal) – Water springs from the mountain’s source.
  • عيناي تؤلمني (ʽAynayya tu’limuni) – My eyes hurt.
  • الحكمة عين العقل (Al-hikmah ʽayn al-ʽaql) – Wisdom is the essence of the mind.
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