an·​us·​va·​ra | \ ˌanəsˈvärə, ˌän- \
plural -s

Definition of anusvara

1 : a Sanskrit postvocalic nasal sound or group of sounds occurring in the interior of a morpheme only before ś, ṣ, s, or h and at the end of a morpheme only before an initial consonant of a following morpheme
2 : a sign used in writing Sanskrit to represent the anusvara sound or sounds and in some manuscripts and editions certain other postvocalic nasal sounds

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of anusvara

1820, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for anusvara

borrowed from Sanskrit anusvāra-, from anu- “after, along” + svāra- “sound, accent,” lengthened-grade noun derivative of svarati “(s/he) sounds, sings”

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About anusvara

Time Traveler for anusvara

Time Traveler

The first known use of anusvara was in 1820

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near anusvara




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for anusvara

Cite this Entry

“Anusvara.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Aug. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!