pho·​nic | \ ˈfä-nik also ˈfō- How to pronounce phonic (audio) \

Definition of phonic

1 : of, relating to, or producing sound : acoustic
2a : of or relating to the sounds of speech
b : of or relating to phonics

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Other Words from phonic

phonically \ ˈfä-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce phonically (audio) also  ˈfō-​ \ adverb

Examples of phonic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

French, which has a much more restricted phonic range than English, generates puns naturally—whole sentences can be turned into homonymic equivalents with very different meanings. Luc Sante, Harper's magazine, "A Crew of Variegated Weirdos," 10 Jan. 2019 An orca hears with its face and talks with its head: Plunging below 100 feet, K35 used phonic lips on either side of his blowhole as deftly as a horn player. The Seattle Times, "How our noise is hurting orcas’ search for salmon," 19 May 2019 The video, diving into the phonic craze, represented a rarity for the Trump White House, a jokey parody perhaps targeted at social media that did not delve deeply into anything overtly political. Eli Rosenberg, Washington Post, "Kellyanne Conway hears ‘Laurel’ but says she’s willing to tell others ‘Yanny’ in White House video," 17 May 2018 Tics can also be phonic such as grunting, throat-clearing or sniffing. Kate Murphy, New York Times, "Are You a Hair-Twirler, Nail-Biter or Knuckle-Cracker?," 14 Sep. 2017 Jeremiah Lockwood Friday, February 2, 7:00pm & 8:30pm, Joe Henderson Lab Lockwood mixes blues and multi-phonic African singing with the cantorial tradition of his Jewish heritage. Jim Harrington, The Mercury News, "SFJAZZ releases blockbuster 2017-18 season lineup," 15 June 2017 The clicks, produced in organs known as phonic lips at rates of up to 1,000 clicks per second, are inaudible to the human ear, but detectable through special, underwater microphones. Joanna Klein, New York Times, "Whales Can Really Rock With Their Mellow Songs NOV. 4, 2016," 9 Nov. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phonic.' 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 phonic

1823, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near phonic






phonic wheel


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The first known use of phonic was in 1823

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English Language Learners Definition of phonic

linguistics : of or relating to speech sounds or phonics


pho·​nic | \ ˈfän-ik, except 2b also ˈfō-nik\

Medical Definition of phonic

1 : of, relating to, or producing sound
2a : of or relating to the sounds of speech
b : of or relating to phonics

Other Words from phonic

phonically \ -​(ə-​)lē How to pronounce phonically (audio) \ adverb

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with phonic

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