Definition of syllable
1 : a unit of spoken language that is next bigger than a speech sound and consists of one or more vowel sounds alone or of a syllabic consonant alone or of either with one or more consonant sounds preceding or following
2 : one or more letters (such as syl, la, and ble) in a word (such as syl*la*ble) usually set off from the rest of the word by a centered dot or a hyphen and roughly corresponding to the syllables of spoken language and treated as helps to pronunciation or as guides to placing hyphens at the end of a line
3 : the smallest conceivable expression or unit of something : jot
4 : sol-fa syllables
Examples of syllable in a Sentence
The word “doctor” has two syllables.
“Doctor” is a two-syllable word.
The first syllable of the word “doctor” is given stress.
Recent Examples of syllable from the Web
For oxen, far less prone to sudden movements than horses, two syllables pose no real problem.
In this breathless song, the vocal line is nonstop, with dizzying bursts of curt sounds and syllables.
In one stroke, Weiss and Benioff transformed what had been a long-running Game of Thrones joke into one of the most poignant two-syllable words of all time.
Who listens to Taylor Swift for the syllable count?
But the author's reading renders the tale amorphous, beating it into a blurry nebula with every syllable uttered in his sorry state.
Then there are others like senior right-hander Michael Stanford, who have embraced and applied every syllable.
As comedians who spend years refining a phrase know, the difference between a good laugh and several of them can be a few unexpected syllables.
For example, there’s an Office feature that will read text aloud at various speeds, and separate words into syllables, which can be particularly useful for those with dyslexia.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'syllable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use of syllable
SYLLABLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of syllable for English Language Learners
: any one of the parts into which a word is naturally divided when it is pronounced
SYLLABLE Defined for Kids
Definition of syllable for Students
1 : a unit of spoken language that consists of one or more vowel sounds alone or with one or more consonant sounds coming before or following
2 : one or more letters (as syl, la, and ble) in a written word (as syl*la*ble) usually separated from the rest of the word by a centered dot or a hyphen and used as guides to the division of the word at the end of a line
Learn More about syllable
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