semi·​vow·​el ˈse-mē-ˌvau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce semivowel (audio)
: 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
: a letter representing a semivowel

Word History

First Known Use

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of semivowel was in 1530

Dictionary Entries Near semivowel

Cite this Entry

“Semivowel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

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