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definitions - Eta

eta (n.)

1.the 7th letter of the Greek alphabet

ETA (n.)

1.a terrorist organization organized in 1959 by student activists who were dissatisfied with the moderate nationalism of the traditional Basque party; want to create an independent homeland in Spain's western Pyrenees"in 1968 ETA launched a campaign ..."

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synonyms - Eta

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-1964/1985 Affinità-Divergenze fra il Compagno Togliatti e Noi – Del Conseguimento della Maggiore Età • Alla mia età (album) • Alla mia età (song) • Alpha Eta Mu Beta • Alpha Eta Rho • Are'eta District • Bottom eta meson • DB Class ETA 150 • DNA polymerase eta • Dedekind eta function • Dirichlet eta function • ETA (disambiguation) • ETA SA • ETA Star Group • ETA Systems • ETA militar • ETA military • ETA political-military • ETA politico-militar • ETA político-militar • ETA – Empresa de Transporte Aéreo • ETA's 2006 ceasefire declaration • Eta Aircraft eta • Eta Andromedae • Eta Antliae • Eta Apodis • Eta Aquarii • Eta Aquariids • Eta Aquilae • Eta Arae • Eta Arietis • Eta Aurigae • Eta Boeriu • Eta Bootis • Eta Boötis • Eta Cancri • Eta Canis Majoris • Eta Canis Minoris • Eta Capricorni • Eta Carinae • Eta Carinids • Eta Cassiopeiae • Eta Centauri • Eta Cephei • Eta Ceti • Eta Columbae • Eta Corvi • Eta Crucis • Eta Cygni • Eta Draconis • Eta Eridani • Eta Funayama Sword • Eta Gamma Delta • Eta Geminorum • Eta Iota Sigma • Eta Kappa Nu • Eta Leonis • Eta Lyrae • Eta Ophiuchi • Eta Orionis • Eta Pegasi • Eta Persei • Eta Piscium • Eta Sagittarii • Eta Scorpii • Eta Sculptoris • Eta Scuti • Eta Serpentis • Eta Sigma Phi • Eta Telescopii • Eta Trianguli Australis • Eta Tucanae • Eta Ursae Maioris • Eta Ursae Majoris • Eta Ursae Minoris • Eta Virginis • Eta Volantis • Eta function • Eta function (disambiguation) • Eta meson • Gamma Nu Eta • Helduen Alfabetatze eta Berreuskalduntzerako Erakundea • Kappa Eta Kappa • La mia poca grande età • Lambda Pi Eta • Lancia Eta-30/50HP • List of ETA attacks • Non ho l'età • Phi Eta Kappa • Phi Eta Sigma • Phi Rho Eta • Sigma Eta Chi • Top eta meson • Weierstrass eta function • Zeta Omega Eta • Zeta Phi Eta

analogical dictionary



Eta uc lc.svg
Greek alphabet
Αα Alpha Νν Nu
Ββ Beta Ξξ Xi
Γγ Gamma Οο Omicron
Δδ Delta Ππ Pi
Εε Epsilon Ρρ Rho
Ζζ Zeta Σσς Sigma
Ηη Eta Ττ Tau
Θθ Theta Υυ Upsilon
Ιι Iota Φφ Phi
Κκ Kappa Χχ Chi
Λλ Lambda Ψψ Psi
Μμ Mu Ωω Omega
Archaic local variants
  • Digamma
  • Heta
  • San
  • Koppa
  • Sampi
  • Tsan
Greek letter Stigma.svg (6)
Greek Koppa lamedh-shaped.svg (90)
Sampi.svg (900)
In other languages
Scientific symbols

Eta (uppercase Η, lowercase η) Greek: ἦτα) is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet. Originally denoting a consonant /h/, its sound value in the classical Attic dialect of Ancient Greek was a long vowel [ɛː], raised to [i] in medieval Greek, a process known as iotacism.

In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 8. It was derived from the Phoenician letter heth Phoenician heth.svg. Letters that arose from Eta include the Latin H and the Cyrillic letter И.



  Consonant h

  Eta (Heta) in the function of /h/ on the ostrakon of Megacles, son of Hippocrates, 487 BC. Inscription: ΜΕΓΑΚLES HIΠΠΟΚRATOS. On display in the Ancient Agora Museum in Athens, housed in the Stoa of Attalus.
  Eta in the function of /h/ on an Attic red-figured calyx-krater, 515 BC. Amongst the depicted figures are Hermes and Hypnos. Inscriptions: HERMES - HYPNOS.

The letter shape H was originally used in most Greek dialects to represent the sound /h/, a voiceless glottal fricative. In this function, it was borrowed in the 8th century BC by the Etruscan and other Old Italic alphabets, which were based on the Euboean form of the Greek alphabet. This ultimately gave rise to the Latin alphabet with its letter H.

  Long e

In the East Ionic dialect, however, the sound /h/ disappeared by the sixth century BC, and the letter was re-used initially to represent a development of a long vowel /aː/, which later merged in East Ionic with /ɛː/ instead.[1] In 403 BC, Athens took over the Ionian spelling system and with it the vocalic use of H (even though it still also had the /h/ sound itself at that time). This later became the standard orthography in all of Greece.

Other regional variants of the Greek alphabet (epichoric alphabets), in dialects that still preserved the sound /h/, employed various glyph shapes for consonantal Heta side by side with the new vocalic Eta for some time. One of them was a tack-like shape, looking like the left half of an H. This system was first used in the southern Italian colonies of Heracleia and Tarentum. When Greek orthography was codified by grammarians in the Hellenistic era, they used a diacritic symbol derived from this half-H shape to signal the presence of /h/, and added as its counterpart a reverse-shaped diacritic to denote absence of /h/. These symbols were the origin of the rough breathing and smooth breathing diacritics that became part of classical Greek orthography.[2] The tack symbol has been reintroduced into modern scholarly representation of archaic Greek writing under the name of Heta.


During the time of post-classical Koiné Greek, the /ɛː/ sound represented by eta was raised and merged with several other formerly distinct vowels (iotacism). Thus in Modern Greek, Eta is pronounced [ˈita] and represents the sound /i/ (a close front unrounded vowel). It shares this function with several other letters (ι, υ) and digraphs (ει, οι), which are all pronounced alike (see iotacism).

  Cyrillic script

Eta was also borrowed with the sound value of [i] into the Cyrillic script, where it gave rise to the Cyrillic letter И.



In Modern Greek the letter, pronounced [ˈita], represents a close front unrounded vowel, /i/. In Classical Greek, it represented a long open-mid front unrounded vowel, /ɛː/.


  Upper case

The upper-case letter Η is used as a symbol in textual criticism for the Alexandrian text-type (from Hesychius, its once-supposed editor).

In chemistry, the letter H as symbol of enthalpy sometimes is said to be a Greek eta, but since enthalpy comes from ἐνθάλπος, which begins in a smooth breathing and epsilon, it is more likely a Latin H for 'heat'.

  Lower case

The lower-case letter η is used as a symbol in:


  1. ^ Sihler, Andrew L. (1995). New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin (illustrated ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 10–20. ISBN 0-19-508345-8. http://books.google.com/books?id=IeHmqKY2BqoC. 
  2. ^ Nick Nicholas (2003), "Greek /h/"


All translations of Eta

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