Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

schwa

play
noun \ˈshwä\

Simple Definition of schwa

  • : a vowel that has the sound of the first and last vowels of the English word America

  • : the symbol ə that is used for the schwa sound

Full Definition of schwa

  1. 1 :  an unstressed mid-central vowel (as the usual sound of the first and last vowels of the English word America)

  2. 2 :  the symbol ə used for the schwa sound and less widely for a similarly articulated stressed vowel (as in cut)

Origin of schwa

German, from Hebrew schĕwā'


First Known Use: 1895

Rhymes with schwa

aah, ah, baa, bah, blah, Blois, bra, dah, droit, fa, Fra, ha, Jah, Kwa, la, ma, nah, pa, pas, Ra, rah, shah, ska, spa, ta


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up schwa? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

pince-nez duvet spindrift kittly-benders
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ