con·​so·​nant | \ ˈkän(t)-s(ə-)nənt How to pronounce consonant (audio) \

Definition of consonant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : being in agreement or harmony : free from elements making for discord The decision was consonant with the company's usual practice.
2 : marked by musical consonances consonant chords
3 : having similar sounds consonant words
4 : relating to or exhibiting consonance : resonant



Definition of consonant (Entry 2 of 2)

: one of a class of speech sounds (such as \p\, \g\, \n\, \l\, \s\, \r\) characterized by constriction or closure at one or more points in the breath channel also : a letter representing a consonant usually used in English of any letter except a, e, i, o, and u

Other Words from consonant


consonantly adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for consonant

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of consonant in a Sentence

Adjective the temples and palaces of ancient Greece are among the most consonant buildings in architectural history his gentle behavior is consonant with his expressed belief in pacifism
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But if streaming has facilitated the use of the F-word, with its punchy hard-consonant ending, why are artists and listeners increasingly drawn to it in the first place? Los Angeles Times, 8 Mar. 2022 But some languages use abjads instead, which are basically consonant alphabets. Melissa Mohr, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 Mar. 2022 The outlawing and expulsion of those who disagree is completely consonant with his concept of freedom. . . . Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 17 Jan. 2022 That was consonant with a 24-fold increase in prescriptions at retail pharmacies, to 88,000 in the week ended Aug. 13 from an average of 3,600 per week in the pre-pandemic period through February 2020. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 31 Aug. 2021 In ordinary tonal speech, the vocal cords make the pitch modulations that form the tones while the front of the mouth forms much of the vowel and consonant sounds. Bob Holmes, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Aug. 2021 Surely accompanied by violinist Byungchan Lee, Peterson’s understated language of consonant chords put together in unexpected ways suggested short stories told in a spare style, hiding turbulent emotions beneath. San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Aug. 2021 This is also consonant with data from the United Kingdom, which, because of its National Health Service, has better data than exists in the U.S. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, 15 Aug. 2021 Pärt, the spiritually esthetic 85-year-old Estonian composer, happens to be the holiest of the Holy Minimalists, as those Eastern European composers who get to consonant essentials are sometimes called. Los Angeles Times, 4 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Early players couldn't ascertain how those letters might connect to each other (i.e., trying common consonant and vowel combinations). Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 25 Mar. 2022 In Dutch, it is pronounced Hakhar, using a palatal consonant that exists in Hebrew (though not in the name Hagar) and in Dutch. Cnaan Liphshiz,, 22 Sep. 2021 Instead, the contestant in control of the wheel at the time will spin to determine the amount each consonant is worth during the speed up round. Michael Schneider, Variety, 8 Sep. 2021 The speech study is the culmination of over a decade of research, in which Dr. Chang’s team mapped brain activity for all vowel and consonant sounds and tapped into the brains of healthy people to produce computerized speech. New York Times, 14 July 2021 The speech study is the culmination of over a decade of research, in which Chang’s team mapped brain activity for all vowel and consonant sounds and tapped into the brains of healthy people to produce computerized speech., 15 July 2021 Ryan Ramczyk has signed a $96 million extension, or a little more than $10 million per consonant. Nick Canepa Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 July 2021 Their performances, full of squishy, immature consonant sounds and a child’s sometimes-halting speech patterns, help communicate the show’s larger intent: These are real children. Kathryn Vanarendonk, Vulture, 24 May 2021 The family tried therapy, tongue depressors; Gorman exiled words that used the consonant. Doreen St. Félix, Vogue, 7 Apr. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'consonant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of consonant


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for consonant


Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, "in conformity with," borrowed from Latin consonant-, consonans "sounding in accord, agreeing, fitting," from present participle of consonāre "to sound together, agree, be in harmony," from con- con- + sonāre "to make a noise, sound" — more at sound entry 2


Middle English consonans, consonaunte, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French consonant, borrowed from Latin consonant-, consonans (originally as modifying littera "letter"), noun derivative from present participle of consonāre "to sound together" — more at consonant entry 1

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The first known use of consonant was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Consonant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for consonant


con·​so·​nant | \ ˈkän-sə-nənt How to pronounce consonant (audio) \

Kids Definition of consonant

1 : a letter in the English alphabet other than a, e, i, o, or u
2 : a speech sound (as \p\, \n\, or \s\) produced by partly or completely stopping the flow of air breathed out of the mouth

More from Merriam-Webster on consonant

Nglish: Translation of consonant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of consonant for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about consonant


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