H, eighth letter of the English alphabet, derived from the Semitic letter cheth, which represents a similar but more guttural sound. In Greek the h was dropped and remained only as a symbol for the long e vowel. It is silent in many of the Roman languages and in English has a sound close to that of breathing. In many words that have a French origin, the h is silent (as in honor). This sound creates problems for foreigners learning English and for many native speakers.