M in sign language

Different sign languages throughout the world have their different manual alphabets used to fingerspell spoken/written words of spoken languages, including people's names, some titles, etc. that don't have signs.

ASL Alphabet

Here shows the letter L in American Sign Language (ASL) used by Deaf people in the United States and Canada.

Meaning: The 13th letter of the alphabet in English and American manual alphabet, a consonant.

Pronunciation (sign description): Thumb is under the closed fingers with its tip protruding between ring finger and pinky and its palm facing down in neutral space.


When fingerspelling the double letters of M, use the tap method. For beginners, don't bounce each letter when fingerspelling except for the some double letters.

Baby signing M

The form of M is one of a large number of some marked or unnatural handshapes. In language acquisition of a signed language, ASL-speaking children don't acquire this handshape until much later after many other handshapes in ASL words. Aside that, there aren't many ASL words with the handshape M, nevertheless.

By the age 3.5 to 4 or so, ASL-speaking preschoolers may be able to form the letter M when fingerspelling the ABCs.

Vocabulary exercise with "M"

Can you think of as many ASL signs that begin with the dominant-handed handshape "M" or loose "M" as possible?

Possible answers

Here is a list of some examples: MONDAY, MONDAYS or EVERY-MONDAY, MORMON, ...

Hint: There are not many. The handshape "M" is one of the "marked" handshapes that this handshape is not natural in signing production.

Other manual alphabets

This image illustrates the letter M in the two-handed British manual alphabet that is used by Deaf signers in British Sign Language (BSL) in the U.K., Australian Sign Language (Auslan), and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL).

Letter M in BSL
Letter M in BSL

For the letter M in the BSL alphabet, the handshape of the dominant hand forms with the index finger, middle finger, and ring finger straight together while the thumb and the pinkie held together on the palm. The upper front of the fingers of the dominant palm-down hand rests on the non-dominant palm-up flat hand.

American Sign Language (ASL) in North America and French Sign Language (FSL) in France share the similar one-handed manual alphabet with minor differences. Because, Old ASL is descended from Old French Sign Language (Old LSF) in the early 1800s, even though, both modern languages naturally developed by Deaf people are very different today.

Related letters and words

Previous letter: L and next letter N.


Written ASL

[Note: ASL writing is not an official standard. This sign language writing remains in a state of open space to allow room for experiment, evolution, and improvement.]

How to write ASL for letter M

Written ASL digit for the alphabetical letter M. [Contributed by ASLwrite, 2019]

Feeling lucky? Random word

Basic word starters: hello / learn / ASL / sign language / alphabet / love / I love you / please / thank you / welcome...

Search Tips and Pointers

Search/Filter: Enter a keyword in the filter/search box to see a list of available words with the "All" selection. Click on the page number if needed. Click on the blue link to look up the word. For best result, enter a partial word to see variations of the word.

Screenshot of dictionary search with notes
Screenshot of the search dictionary

Alphabetical letters: It's useful for 1) a single-letter word (such as A, B, etc.) and 2) very short words (e.g. "to", "he", etc.) to narrow down the words and pages in the list.

For best result, enter a short word in the search box, then select the alphetical letter (and page number if needed), and click on the blue link.

Screenshot of dictionary search with notes
Screenshot of the search dictionary

Don't forget to click "All" back when you search another word with a different initial letter.

If you cannot find (perhaps overlook) a word but you can still see a list of links, then keep looking until the links disappear! Sharpening your eye or maybe refine your alphabetical index skill. :)

Add a Word: This dictionary is not exhaustive; ASL signs are constantly added to the dictionary. If you don't find a word/sign, you can send your request (only if a single link doesn't show in the result).

Videos: The first video may be NOT the answer you're looking for. There are several signs for different meanings, contexts, and/or variations. Browsing all the way down to the next search box is highly recommended.

Video speed: Signing too fast in the videos? See HELP in the footer.

ASL has its own grammar and structure in sentences that works differently from English. For plurals, verb inflections, word order, etc., learn grammar in the "ASL Learn" section. For search in the dictionary, use the present-time verbs and base words. If you look for "said", look up the word "say". Likewise, if you look for an adjective word, try the noun or vice versa. E.g. The ASL signs for French and France are the same. If you look for a plural word, use a singular word.