rhotacism

noun

rho·​ta·​cism ˈrō-tə-ˌsiz-əm How to pronounce rhotacism (audio)
1
: a defective pronunciation of r
especially : substitution of some other sound for that of r
2
linguistics : the historical change of a voiced consonant sound (such as the alveolar consonants \z\, \d\, \l\ or \n\) to an r-like consonant

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from German Rhotacismus, from Middle Greek rhōtakízein "to use the letter ρ or the sound r excessively or incorrectly" + German -ismus -ism — more at rhotacize

First Known Use

1830, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of rhotacism was in 1830

Dictionary Entries Near rhotacism

Cite this Entry

“Rhotacism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rhotacism. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition

rhotacism

noun
rho·​ta·​cism ˈrōt-ə-ˌsiz-əm How to pronounce rhotacism (audio)
: a defective pronunciation of r
especially : substitution of some other sound for that of r
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