diphthong

noun
diph·​thong | \ ˈdif-ˌthȯŋ How to pronounce diphthong (audio) , ˈdip- \

Definition of diphthong

1 linguistics : a gliding (see glide entry 1 sense 4) monosyllabic speech sound (such as the vowel combination at the end of toy) that starts at or near the articulatory position for one vowel and moves to or toward the position of another
2 linguistics : digraph
3 : the ligature (see ligature sense 4) æ or œ

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Other Words from diphthong

diphthongal \ dif-​ˈthȯŋ-​(g)əl How to pronounce diphthong (audio) , dip-​ How to pronounce diphthong (audio) \ adjective

Examples of diphthong in a Sentence

The sounds of “ou” in “out” and of “oy” in “boy” are diphthongs.
Recent Examples on the Web Even the big diphthongs that my grandfather’s years in the States had tamped down swelled back to their former glory in this company. Kevin Dettmar, The New Yorker, "Witnessing the Moon Landing in Ireland, at the Start of the Troubles," 20 July 2019

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

First Known Use of diphthong

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for diphthong

Middle English diptonge, from Middle French diptongue, from Late Latin dipthongus, from Greek diphthongos, from di- + phthongos voice, sound

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Time Traveler for diphthong

Time Traveler

The first known use of diphthong was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Diphthong.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diphthong. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for diphthong

diphthong

noun

English Language Learners Definition of diphthong

linguistics : two vowel sounds joined in one syllable to form one speech sound

diphthong

noun
diph·​thong | \ ˈdif-ˌthȯŋ How to pronounce diphthong (audio) , ˈdip- \

Kids Definition of diphthong

: two vowel sounds joined in one syllable to form one speech sound The sounds of “ou” in “out” and of “oy” in “boy” are diphthongs.

More from Merriam-Webster on diphthong

Nglish: Translation of diphthong for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about diphthong

Comments on diphthong

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