para·​lan·​guage ˈper-ə-ˌlaŋ-gwij How to pronounce paralanguage (audio)
: optional vocal effects (such as tone of voice) that accompany or modify the phonemes of an utterance and that may communicate meaning

Examples of paralanguage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Such sounds are technically known as paralanguage (or vocalics), a field pioneered back in the 1950s by George L. Trager, a linguist who worked in the State Department's Foreign Service Institute. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 6 Dec. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'paralanguage.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1958, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of paralanguage was in 1958

Dictionary Entries Near paralanguage

Cite this Entry

“Paralanguage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

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