rho·​tic ˈrō-tik How to pronounce rhotic (audio)
phonetics : of, relating to, having, or being an accent or dialect in English in which an /r/ sound is retained before consonants (as in pronouncing hard and cart) and at the end of a word (as in pronouncing car and far)
a rhotic dialect/accent
a rhotic speaker
Arguably one of the greatest divisions in English is between rhotic and non-rhotic accents, which is to say our speech and accents are immediately distinguishable based on the pronunciation, or lack thereof, of /r/-like sounds.Jordan MacKenzie
phonetics, of a vowel : influenced in coloring by an adjacent /r/ sound
rhoticity noun
The presence or absence of rhoticity usually provides an instant first indication of the regional speech of a given speaker. Robert Burchfield

Examples of rhotic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Irish English is also rhotic, meaning the R is overpronounced. Bernhard Warner, BostonGlobe.com, 1 July 2023 This is because Scooby’s rhotic replacement goes deeper than something like a lisp. Kyle Hill, Discover Magazine, 11 Mar. 2014

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

Word History


rhot- (in rhotacism or rhotacize) + -ic entry 1

First Known Use

1968, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of rhotic was in 1968

Dictionary Entries Near rhotic

Cite this Entry

“Rhotic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rhotic. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

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