sibilant

adjective
sib·​i·​lant | \ ˈsi-bə-lənt How to pronounce sibilant (audio) \

Definition of sibilant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having, containing, or producing the sound of or a sound resembling that of the s or the sh in sash a sibilant affricate a sibilant snake

sibilant

noun

Definition of sibilant (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sibilant speech sound (such as English \s\, \z\, \sh\, \zh\, \ch(=tsh)\, or \j(=dzh)\)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from sibilant

Adjective

sibilantly adverb

Examples of sibilant in a Sentence

Adjective the sibilant hiss of a snake
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Mandarin Chinese, for example, is packed with sibilant and strident sounds like English, where air is pushed with more force through the mucus membranes. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Does Speaking English Spread Coronavirus Quicker?," 11 June 2020 The five-minute piece, written by Jason Eckardt, consists of cries, truncated syllables and sharp sibilant sounds that appear to resemble someone angrily shushing herself. New York Times, "After Trauma, a Silenced Vocalist Sings Again," 21 Nov. 2019 Here Comes the Sun’ (RCA/Victor, 1971) A stark, sibilant cover with abundant harp and tape hiss, Nina Simone’s take on the Beatles was a mainstay of early mornings (and afternoons) at Loft parties. Aaron Gonsher, New York Times, "Love Saves the Day Turns 50: Hear 12 of the Loft’s Essential Songs," 13 Feb. 2020 Descriptions of the trend pioneered by the siblings were sibilant: soccer-style, sidewinder, sidesaddle. Michael Farber, SI.com, "Mark Moseley, Last of the Straight-On Kickers," 2 July 2018 But Jones has just bumped through a remarkable house set, the room is as crowded as it's been all weekend and the German minimal techno DJ Michael Mayer is opening his set with a sibilant cluster of synths and dots of midrange melody. Randall Roberts, latimes.com, "Coachella by the hour: Weekend highlights from Vince Staples, Kali Uchis, Moodymann, Oh Sees and, oh yeah, Beyoncé," 23 Apr. 2018 When a semi-celebrity graduate of their program is mentioned, the girls hiss her name in sibilant wonder and envy. New York Times, "Review: ‘Dance Nation,’ the Power and the Terror of Girls at 13," 8 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sibilant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of sibilant

Adjective

1669, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1788, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sibilant

Adjective

Latin sibilant-, sibilans, present participle of sibilare to hiss, whistle, of imitative origin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sibilant

Time Traveler for sibilant

Time Traveler

The first known use of sibilant was in 1669

See more words from the same year

Statistics for sibilant

Cite this Entry

“Sibilant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sibilant. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sibilant

sibilant

adjective
How to pronounce sibilant (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sibilant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

formal : making or having a sound like the letters s or sh

sibilant

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sibilant (Entry 2 of 2)

technical : a sibilant sound (such as \s\ or \z\)

sibilant

adjective
sib·​i·​lant | \ ˈsib-ə-lənt How to pronounce sibilant (audio) \

Medical Definition of sibilant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having, containing, or producing the sound of or a sound resembling that of the s or sh in sash a sibilant speech sound sibilant breathing sibilant rales

sibilant

noun

Medical Definition of sibilant (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sibilant speech sound (as English \s\, \z\, \sh\, \zh\, \ch(=t + sh)\, or \j(=d + zh)\)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on sibilant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sibilant

Britannica English: Translation of sibilant for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sibilant

Comments on sibilant

What made you want to look up sibilant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!