A Vowel, and the first Letter of the English Alphabet. See LETTER, VOWEL, and ALPHABET ; where what relates to A, consider'd in each of those Capacities, is delivered. The Grammarians will needs have A the first Letter in all Languages ; and some of 'em assign a natural Reason for it, viz. that it is the most simple, and the easiest pronounc'd of all articulate Sounds. To confirm this, Jul. Scaligcr observes, that A is the first Sound Nature puts forth at the crying or smiling of Infants ; and that it needs no other Motion to form it, but a bare opening of the Lips. See VOICE.
ABSOLUTE, in Philosophy and Theology. See ABSOLUTE. In Grammar, we say, A Word is taken absolutely, Absolute sumptus, when it has no Regimen, or Government. Thus, in the Phrase "We shou'd pray without ceasing" ; the Word pray is taken absolutely, as it governs nothing.