Vowel
Vowel Vow"el, n. [F. voyelle, or an OF. form without y, L. vocalis (sc. littera), from vocalis sounding, from vox, vocis, a voice, sound. See {Vocal}.] (Phon.) A vocal, or sometimes a whispered, sound modified by resonance in the oral passage, the peculiar resonance in each case giving to each several vowel its distinctive character or quality as a sound of speech; -- distinguished from a {consonant} in that the latter, whether made with or without vocality, derives its character in every case from some kind of obstructive action by the mouth organs. Also, a letter or character which represents such a sound. See Guide to Pronunciation, [sect][sect] 5, 146-149. [1913 Webster]

Note: In the English language, the written vowels are a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes w and y. The spoken vowels are much more numerous. [1913 Webster]

{Close vowel}. See under {Close}, a.

{Vowel point}. See under {Point}, n. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • vowel — [vou′əl] n. [ME vowelle < MFr vouel < L vocalis (littera), vocal (letter), vowel < vox,VOICE] 1. any voiced speech sound characterized by generalized friction of the air passing in a continuous stream through the pharynx and opened mouth …   English World dictionary

  • Vowel — Vow el, a. Of or pertaining to a vowel; vocal. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • vowel — (n.) c.1300, from O.Fr. vouel, from L. vocalis, in littera vocalis, lit. vocal letter, from vox (gen. vocis) voice (see VOICE (Cf. voice)). Vowel shift in reference to the pronunciation change between Middle and Modern English is attested from… …   Etymology dictionary

  • vowel — ► NOUN 1) a speech sound in which the mouth is open and the tongue is not touching the top of the mouth, the teeth, or the lips. 2) a letter representing such a sound, such as a, e, i, o, u. ORIGIN Old French vouel, from Latin vocalis littera… …   English terms dictionary

  • Vowel — In phonetics, a vowel is a sound in spoken language, such as English ah! IPA| [ɑː] or oh! IPA| [oʊ] , pronounced with an open vocal tract so that there is no build up of air pressure at any point above the glottis. This contrasts with consonants …   Wikipedia

  • vowel — vowelless, adj. vowellike, adj. vowely, vowelly, adv. /vow euhl/, n. 1. Phonet. a. (in English articulation) a speech sound produced without occluding, diverting, or obstructing the flow of air from the lungs (opposed to consonant). b. (in a… …   Universalium

  • vowel — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ long, short ▪ open, rounded ▪ back, front ▪ weak ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

  • vowel — Synonyms and related words: accented, allophone, alveolar, apical, apico alveolar, apico dental, articulated, articulation, aspiration, assimilated, assimilation, back, barytone, bilabial, broad, cacuminal, central, cerebral, check, checked,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • vowel — I (Roget s IV) n. Syn. vocoid, open voiced sound, vowel sound, glide, diphthong, digraph; see also consonant , letter 1 . Linguistic terms for vowel sounds include: high, mid, low, open, close, front, back, central, flat, rounded, unrounded,… …   English dictionary for students

  • vowel — [[t]va͟ʊəl[/t]] vowels N COUNT A vowel is a sound such as the ones represented in writing by the letters a , e i , o and u , which you pronounce with your mouth open, allowing the air to flow through it. Compare consonant. The vowel in words like …   English dictionary

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