AM Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

You likely know that AM represents the morning time, but what does it actually mean? Read on to discover the meaning of AM, its origin, and more.

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If you’re one of the millions of people who struggle to get out of bed in the A.M., chances are you rely on an alarm clock to help wake you from your deep slumber. But do you know what the abbreviation A.M. stands for or where it came from?.

In this article, we’re exploring the word AM to uncover its definition, origin, and more. So, if you’ve ever been curious about the meaning behind AM — keep reading. 

What Does the Abbreviation AM Stand for?

When used as an abbreviation in the English Language, A.M. stands for the Latin phrase ante meridiem, which translates to “before noon” or “before midday.” In contrast, P.M. stands for “post meridem,” which translates to “after midday.”

Used after a time for showing that it’s between midnight and noon, “a.m” is generally lowercased in running text, but may also be capitalized in formal writing.   

What Is the Origin of AM?

By now, you know that a.m. is a common abbreviation for ante meridiem, which means before midday — but where did it come from?

The origin behind our word of the day is a bit fuzzy, but we do know that it was the Egyptians who divided the day into 24 equal parts by using the base of 12 around 1500 B.C. This provided two cycles:

Does AM Mean Anything Else?

As a matter of fact, it does:

  • The word “am” is the first person singular of the present tense of “be.”  
  • AM is an abbreviation for “amplitude modulation” (aka sound transmission) and refers to a method of transmitting radio waves that are typically used to broadcast sound. 
  • “Am.” is a written abbreviation for American.
  • In chemistry, “Am” is the abbreviation for americium.
  • In British English, AM is the abbreviation for Associate Member, Albert Medal, and Assembly Member (of the National Assembly of Wales).
  • A.M. also means Master of Arts

As you can see, “AM” has many meanings. When you come across this word, be sure to use context clues to help you decipher which usage of “AM” is being used.

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of AM?

To further your overall understanding of our word of the day, it can be helpful to review its synonym and antonyms from a thesaurus. 

In short, a synonym is a word or expression that has the same or nearly the same meaning as another word or expression, whereas an antonym is a word opposite in meaning to another. 

Synonyms of “am” include:

  • Rouse
  • Wake
  • Want to
  • Be
  • Bestir
  • Budge
  • Exert
  • Hasten
  • Time
  • Will
  • Awake
  • Be up and about
  • Get moving
  • Be obliged 
  • Look alive
  • I am
  • Shake a leg
  • Make an effort
  • I’m
  • Get a move on

Antonyms of “am” include:

  • Calm
  • Sleep
  • P.M.
  • Daybreak
  • Forenoon
  • Late afternoon
  • Nighttime 
  • Discourage
  • Conclusion
  • Laze
  • Post meridian
  • Rest
  • Bring to an end
  • Wait
  • Slumber

How Can You Use “AM” in a Sentence?

Our word of the day can be used in a number of ways. Quiz yourself to see how many sentences you can come up with properly using “am.” 

Need some help? Check out our sentence examples listed below:

“I am taking a plane to Armenia at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow and was wondering if you could possibly take me to the airport.”

“Bob gave me a few AM radio stations to check out during my two-hour commute to the city tomorrow.”

“I am woman — hear me roar!”

“Do you know how to convert an AM-PM clock to a 24-hour clock?”

“I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the store is closed tonight, so you will have to come back when we reopen at 8 o’clock tomorrow morning.”

“Breakfast will be served between 6 and 9:30 a.m.”

“I am so glad that it’s only 11 p.m. — I woke up from a nap thinking it was 11 a.m. which would have meant I was late to school!”

“Many people use the word am on a daily basis, yet only a few know that the abbreviation is short for the Latin ante meridiem, which simply translates to before noon.”

“Can you please turn the on AM radio?”

“Did you know that the Middle English word am derives from Old English eom, which is actually akin to Old Norse em, Latin sum, Sanskrit asmi, and Greek eimi?”

“If you’re using the 24-hour system or military time, you don’t need to worry about AM because there are no duplicate numbers.”


So, what does the word “am” mean? 

Our word of the day has a number of different meanings, but it’s most commonly used after a number to show that you’re referring to a particular time between midnight and noon. “Am” is also widely known as a pronoun or verb in the first person. 


  1. Why is a day divided into 24 hours? (Intermediate) Curious About Astronomy? | Ask an Astronomer 
  2. Am Definition & Meaning | Britannica Dictionary
  3. Am definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary