noun pro·nun·ci·a·tion \ prə-ˌnən(t)-sē-ˈā-shən also nonstandard , -ˌnau̇n(t)- \
|Updated on: 7 Jul 2018

Definition of pronunciation

: the act or manner of pronouncing something


play \prə-ˌnən(t)-sē-ˈā-shnəl, -shə-nᵊl\ adjective

Examples of pronunciation in a Sentence

  1. What is the correct pronunciation of his name?

  2. I haven't learned proper pronunciation of French words.

Recent Examples of pronunciation from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of pronunciation

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

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

PRONUNCIATION Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of pronunciation for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids


noun pro·nun·ci·a·tion \ prə-ˌnən-sē-ˈā-shən \

Definition of pronunciation for Students

: the act or way of saying a word or words

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