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

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Other Words from consonant


consonantly adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for consonant

Synonyms: Adjective

balanced, congruous, eurythmic (or eurhythmic), harmonic, harmonious

Antonyms: Adjective

disharmonic, disharmonious, incongruous, inharmonic, inharmonious, unbalanced

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Examples of consonant in a Sentence


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

Yiddish Jews were one recognized minority group in the ethnic hodgepodge of the Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires, and the only group whose status wasn’t consonant with a piece of land. Martin Peretz, WSJ, "‘Rooted Cosmopolitans’ Review: Of Persons and Peoples," 8 May 2018 But amid the double-consonant chants that filled the Wells Fargo Center with McConnell’s name, there was another side of the story, and an interesting one. David Murphy,, "Robert Covington had an all-star performance of a different kind in Game 4 | David Murphy," 8 May 2018 Tiny delays after certain sound combinations—such as consonant clusters—could help us distinguish words in noisy settings. Catherine Matacic, Science | AAAS, "If you listen closely, the drumbeats of Amazonian tribes sound like human speech," 24 Apr. 2018 The blood pressure goal of less than 130/80 is consonant with new clinical practice guidelines that were released last year, Blyler said. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, "How barbershops could help lower blood pressure," 19 Mar. 2018 But in terms of presidential history, Trump’s use of the executive toolbox is very much consonant with past practice. Andrew Rudalevige, Washington Post, "As a candidate, Trump criticized Obama's use of executive power. So guess what powers President Trump has been leaning on?," 20 Jan. 2018 This was consonant, repetitious music, major and balladic in tone, but not form. Giovanni Russonello, New York Times, "30 Years Later, Three Bands From New York’s Downtown Scene Unite for One Night," 12 Dec. 2017 Samardzija formed a consonant-heavy battery with Tim Federowicz, who is in camp to add to the club’s catching depth. — Andrew Baggarly, The Mercury News, "Giants notes: Johnny Cueto’s WBC participation in doubt," 20 Feb. 2017 Drawing from the cadences and content of Hawaiian chants as well as the consonant twang of country music, the group combined historical reverence with show-business appeal. Nate Chinen, New York Times, "Eddie Kamae, an Innovator and a Historian on Four Strings, Dies at 89," 24 Jan. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Chords, some consonant, some whatever the cat might have created walking on the keys, came and went, came and went, most quietly. Mark Swed,, "Review: Why ‘Noon to Midnight’ is the new-music bargain that’s hard to beat," 3 June 2019 And a vowel followed by two consonants added a final 30 milliseconds. Catherine Matacic, Science | AAAS, "If you listen closely, the drumbeats of Amazonian tribes sound like human speech," 24 Apr. 2018 Click sounds, such as those found in some languages in Africa, make perfectly good consonants. Anne Pycha, Scientific American, "Why Click Speech Is Rare," 1 Dec. 2017 Whiskey and wine share a common consonant, and the two beverages will also share top billing at the Chicago Whiskey & Wine Festival. Adam Lukach, RedEye Chicago, "5 things to do this weekend in Chicago," 23 Feb. 2018 But if that vowel was followed by a consonant, the time after the beat went up an average of 80 milliseconds. Catherine Matacic, Science | AAAS, "If you listen closely, the drumbeats of Amazonian tribes sound like human speech," 24 Apr. 2018 But there’s a new explosion of creativity, as well as consonants, that seems to have been ignited by drawing from the majesty and oddity of great Japanese movies. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Isle of Dogs’ Review: Wes Anderson Unleashed," 22 Mar. 2018 More Film Reviews The story is set 20 years in the future in a Japan that, for all its advanced technology, recalls the early gangster sagas of Akira Kurosawa, with their noirish plots and explosive consonants. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Isle of Dogs’ Review: Wes Anderson Unleashed," 22 Mar. 2018 Created by designer Lee Suk-woo, the medals for these Games feature dynamic diagonal lines and three-dimensional consonants from the Korean alphabet that stretch across the face, according to the official website. Robert Jimison, CNN, "2018 Winter Olympics: What you need to know," 2 Feb. 2018

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.

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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, from Latin consonant-, consonans, present participle of consonare to sound together, agree, from com- + sonare to sound — more at sound entry 1


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin consonant-, consonans, from present participle of consonare — see consonant entry 1

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Time Traveler for consonant

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

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More Definitions for consonant



English Language Learners Definition of consonant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

formal : in agreement with something
music : in harmony



English Language Learners Definition of consonant (Entry 2 of 2)

: a speech sound (such as /p/, /d/, or /s/) that is made by partly or completely stopping the flow of air breathed out from the mouth
: a letter that represents a consonant especially : any letter of the English alphabet except a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y


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

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a tendency to relapse

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