Ayin (also ayn or ain; transliterated ⟨ʿ⟩) is the sixteenth letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician ʿayin , Hebrew ʿayin ע, Aramaic ʿē , Syriac ʿē ܥ, and Arabic ʿayn ع (where it is sixteenth in abjadi order only).
The letter name is derived from Proto-Semitic *ʿayn- "eye", and the Phoenician letter had the shape of a circle or oval, clearly representing an eye, perhaps ultimately (via Proto-Sinaitic) derived from the ı͗r hieroglyph
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