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D d
Writing systemLatin script
Language of originLatin language
Phonetic usage
Unicode codepointU+0044, U+0064
Alphabetical position4
Numerical value: 4
Time period~-700 to present
Other letters commonly used withd(x)
Associated numbers4
Writing directionLeft-to-Right
This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and  , see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.

D, or d, is the fourth letter of the Latin alphabet, used in the modern English alphabet, the alphabets of other western European languages and others worldwide. Its name in English is dee (pronounced /ˈd/), plural dees.[1]


Egyptian hieroglyph
door, fish
Western Greek
Latin D

The Semitic letter Dāleth may have developed from the logogram for a fish or a door.[2] There are many different Egyptian hieroglyphs that might have inspired this. In Semitic, Ancient Greek[3] and Latin,[4] the letter represented /d/; in the Etruscan alphabet[5] the letter was archaic, but still retained (see letter B). The equivalent Greek letter is Delta, Δ.[3]

The minuscule (lower-case) form of 'd' consists of a lower-story left bowl and a stem ascender. It most likely developed by gradual variations on the majuscule (capital) form 'D', and today now composed as a stem with a full lobe to the right. In handwriting, it was common to start the arc to the left of the vertical stroke, resulting in a serif at the top of the arc. This serif was extended while the rest of the letter was reduced, resulting in an angled stroke and loop. The angled stroke slowly developed into a vertical stroke.[6]

Use in writing systems

Pronunciation summary
Languages in italics are not usually written using the Latin alphabet
Language Dialect(s) Pronunciation (IPA) Environment Notes
Mandarin Chinese Standard /t/ Pinyin romanization
English /d/
French /d/ Sometimes silent word-finally
German /d/, /t/ See German orthography
Portuguese /d/
Spanish /d/
Turkish /d/


In English, ⟨d⟩ generally represents the voiced alveolar plosive /d/.

D is the tenth most frequently used letter in the English language.

Other languages

The letter D, standing for "Deutschland" (German for "Germany"), on a boundary stone at the border between Austria and Germany.

In most languages that use the Latin alphabet, ⟨d⟩ generally represents the voiced alveolar or voiced dental plosive /d/.

In the Vietnamese alphabet, it represents the sound /z/ in northern dialects or /j/ in southern dialects. (See D with stroke and Dz (digraph).)

In Fijian it represents a prenasalized stop /ⁿd/.[7]

In some languages where voiceless unaspirated stops contrast with voiceless aspirated stops, ⟨d⟩ represents an unaspirated /t/, while ⟨t⟩ represents an aspirated /tʰ/. Examples of such languages include Icelandic, Scottish Gaelic, Navajo and the Pinyin transliteration of Mandarin.

Other systems

In the International Phonetic Alphabet, ⟨d⟩ represents the voiced alveolar plosive /d/.

Other uses

Related characters

Descendants and related characters in the Latin alphabet

Ancestors and siblings in other alphabets

  • 𐤃 : Semitic letter Dalet, from which the following symbols originally derive
    • Δ δ : Greek letter Delta, from which the following symbols originally derive
      • Ⲇ ⲇ : Coptic letter Delta
      • Д д : Cyrillic letter De
      • 𐌃 : Old Italic D, the ancestor of modern Latin D
        •  : Runic letter dagaz, which is possibly a descendant of Old Italic D
        • Runic letter thurisaz, another possible descendant of Old Italic D
      • 𐌳 : Gothic letter daaz, which derives from Greek Delta

Derived signs, symbols and abbreviations

Other representations


The Latin letters ⟨D⟩ and ⟨d⟩ have Unicode encodings U+0044 D LATIN CAPITAL LETTER D and U+0064 d LATIN SMALL LETTER D. These are the same code points as were used in ASCII and ISO 8859. There are also precomposed character encodings for ⟨D⟩ and ⟨d⟩ with diacritics, for most of those listed above; the remainder are produced using combining diacritics.

Variant forms of the letter have unique code points for specialist use: the alphanumeric symbols set in mathematics and science, plosive sounds in linguistics, and halfwidth and fullwidth forms for legacy CJK font compatibility.


In British Sign Language (BSL), the letter 'd' is indicated by signing with the right hand held with the index and thumb extended and slightly curved, and the tip of the thumb and finger held against the extended index of the left hand.


  1. ^ "D" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1993); "dee", op. cit.
  2. ^ "The letter D". issuu. Archived from the original on 2021-08-29. Retrieved 2021-07-06.
  3. ^ a b "Definition of DELTA". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2022-05-03.
  4. ^ "Latin Alphabet" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2010-12-26.
  5. ^ Rex Wallace (2008) 𐌆𐌉𐌙 𐌓𐌀𐌔𐌍𐌀 𐌀 Zikh Rasna: A Manual of the Etruscan Language and Inscriptions
  6. ^ "Introduction to Old English". lrc.la.utexas.edu. Retrieved 2022-05-03.
  7. ^ Lynch, John (1998). Pacific languages: an introduction. University of Hawaii Press. p. 97. ISBN 0-8248-1898-9.
  8. ^ "Hexadecimal Number System | There are Many Ways to Write Numbers". u.osu.edu. Retrieved 2022-05-20.
  9. ^ Gordon, Arthur E. (1983). Illustrated Introduction to Latin Epigraphy. University of California Press. pp. 44. ISBN 9780520038981. Retrieved 3 October 2015. roman numerals.
  10. ^ "The Roman Alphabet in Cantonese". University of Pennsylvania. March 23, 2011. Retrieved 13 September 2023.
  11. ^ Everson, Michael; Lilley, Chris (2019-05-26). "L2/19-179: Proposal for the addition of four Latin characters for Gaulish" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2019-06-13.
  12. ^ Everson, Michael; et al. (2002-03-20). "L2/02-141: Uralic Phonetic Alphabet characters for the UCS" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2013-08-19.
  13. ^ Miller, Kirk; Ashby, Michael (2020-11-08). "L2/20-252R: Unicode request for IPA modifier-letters (a), pulmonic" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-07-30.
  14. ^ Cook, Richard; Everson, Michael (2001-09-20). "L2/01-347: Proposal to add six phonetic characters to the UCS" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2013-08-19.
  15. ^ Constable, Peter (2003-09-30). "L2/03-174R2: Proposal to Encode Phonetic Symbols with Middle Tilde in the UCS" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2013-08-19.
  16. ^ a b Constable, Peter (2004-04-19). "L2/04-132 Proposal to add additional phonetic characters to the UCS" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2013-08-19.
  17. ^ Miller, Kirk; Rees, Neil (2021-07-16). "L2/21-156: Unicode request for legacy Malayalam" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-09-07.
  18. ^ Everson, Michael (2006-08-06). "L2/06-266: Proposal to add Latin letters and a Greek symbol to the UCS" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2013-08-19.

External links

  • The dictionary definition of D at Wiktionary
  • The dictionary definition of d at Wiktionary