A mark ( ¸ ) placed beneath the letter c, as in the spelling of the French word garçon, to indicate that the letter is to be pronounced (s).
[Obsolete Spanish, diminutive of ceda, the letter z (so called because a small z was formerly written after a c, and later below it, to indicate that the normal hard c was to be pronounced as a sibilant, like s or z), from Late Latin zēta, zeta, from Greek; see ZETA.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.