From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44 [gcide]:
cedilla \ce*dil"la\ (s[-e]*d[i^]l"l[.a]), noun [Sp. cedilla, cf. F. c['e]dille; dim. of zeta, the Gr. name of the letter z, because this letter was formerly written after the c, to give it the sound of s.] A mark placed under the letter c [thus, [,c]], to show that it is to be sounded like s, as in fa[,c]ade.
From WordNet (r) 2.0 [wn]:
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