semivowel

noun
semi·​vow·​el | \ ˈse-mē-ˌvau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce semivowel (audio) , ˈse-ˌmī-, -mi- \

Definition of semivowel

1 : a speech sound (such as \y\, \w\, or \r\) that has the articulation of a vowel but that is shorter in duration and is treated as a consonant in syllabication
2 : a letter representing a semivowel

First Known Use of semivowel

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of semivowel was in 1530

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Cite this Entry

“Semivowel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/semivowel. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on semivowel

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about semivowel

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