pronunciation

noun
pro·​nun·​ci·​a·​tion | \ prə-ˌnən(t)-sē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce pronunciation (audio) also nonstandard -ˌnau̇n(t)- \

Definition of pronunciation

: the act or manner of pronouncing something

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Other Words from pronunciation

pronunciational \ prə-​ˌnən(t)-​sē-​ˈā-​shnəl How to pronounce pronunciation (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Is it 'pronunciation' or 'pronounciation'?

We’ve received quite a few letters and e-mails from correspondents asking for pronunciation help—but in some of these letters and e-mails, pronunciation is spelled pronounciation. The confusion is understandable: the verb is pronounce, so why shouldn’t the noun be pronounciation? Both the noun and verb come ultimately from the Latin verb pronuntiare. But when the Latin verb was taken into Anglo-French and later entered Middle English, that second vowel was sometimes rendered as -u- and sometimes rendered as -ou-. This meant that, from about the 1500s onward, we have evidence of both pronounciation and pronunciation in the written record. Eventually the noun standardized to pronunciation, but because of influence from pronounce, we do occasionally see pronounciation in print, and we also have evidence of a corresponding pronunciation for pronounciation (\pruh-nown-see-AY-shun\). The spelling pronounciation and the pronunciation that goes with that spelling are not considered a part of standard English. Using them could result in criticism or questioning.

Examples of pronunciation in a Sentence

What is the correct pronunciation of his name? I haven't learned proper pronunciation of French words.
Recent Examples on the Web His pronunciation suffered, like that of his classmates. BostonGlobe.com, "A year of grit and despair: For one class of immigrant students, the pandemic threatens to upend their educational dreams," 26 Mar. 2021 But please remember that the content of a person’s character will always be more important than his pronunciation. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Virtual dating creates actual problems," 18 Mar. 2021 But please remember that the content of a person’s character will always be more important than his pronunciation. Washington Post, "Ask Amy: Virtual dating creates actual problems," 18 Mar. 2021 And for any adults considering popping in on a lesson or two, lessons will also include the pronunciation of IKEA product names. Danielle Harling, House Beautiful, "IKEA's New Swedish Language Lessons Couldn't Have Come at a Better Time," 13 Feb. 2021 My mom is Puerto Rican, and Spanish is my default pronunciation for unfamiliar words. Aya De León, Harper's BAZAAR, "Spy Novels Made Me a Better Black Woman Writer," 12 Jan. 2021 Using deep learning and data sets of both words and units of pronunciation, a musical bot called Shimon can improvise responses to a human rapper. Andrea Thompson, Scientific American, "From Rapping Robots to Glowing Frogs: Our Favorite Fun Stories of 2020," 29 Dec. 2020 In announcing his pick Tuesday, Biden initially stumbled on the Spanish pronunciation of Becerra's name. Jonathan Lemire And Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, Chron, "Biden's COVID-19 priorities include 100 million vaccines in first 100 days," 9 Dec. 2020 In announcing his pick Tuesday, Biden initially stumbled on the Spanish pronunciation of Becerra's name. Jonathan Lemire And Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, Chron, "Biden's COVID-19 priorities include 100 million vaccines in first 100 days," 9 Dec. 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pronunciation

Middle English pronunciacion, from Anglo-French pronunciation, from Latin pronuntiation-, pronuntiatio, from pronuntiare

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Time Traveler for pronunciation

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for pronunciation

Last Updated

2 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pronunciation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pronunciation. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for pronunciation

pronunciation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of pronunciation

: the way in which a word or name is pronounced
: a particular person's way of pronouncing a word or the words of a language

pronunciation

noun
pro·​nun·​ci·​a·​tion | \ prə-ˌnən-sē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce pronunciation (audio) \

Kids Definition of pronunciation

: the act or way of saying a word or words

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Comments on pronunciation

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