semivowel

noun
semi·vow·el | \ˈse-mē-ˌvau̇(-ə)l, 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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