schwa

noun

1
: an unstressed mid-central vowel (such as the usual sound of the first and last vowels of the English word America)
2
: the symbol ə used for the schwa sound and less widely for a similarly articulated stressed vowel (as in cut)

Word History

Etymology

German, from Hebrew schĕwā'

First Known Use

1895, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of schwa was in 1895

Dictionary Entries Near schwa

Cite this Entry

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

Kids Definition

schwa

noun
1
: a vowel that is not stressed and is the usual sound of the first and last vowels of the English word America
2
: the symbol ə commonly used for a schwa and sometimes also for a similarly pronounced stressed vowel (as in cut)
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