Definition of vowel
1 : one of a class of speech sounds in the articulation of which the oral part of the breath channel is not blocked and is not constricted enough to cause audible friction; broadly : the one most prominent sound in a syllable
2 : a letter or other symbol representing a vowel —usually used in English of a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y
Recent Examples of vowel from the Web
The Hawaiian language only has 12 letters (five vowels and eight consonants).
Studies commonly cite more than 100 consonants, and some say there are as many as 164 consonants and 44 vowels.
Linguists say the regional dialect emerged during the New High German Diphthongization in the Middle Ages, when south-westerners spun off their own approach to vowels.
That’s the crux of Shaw’s presciently modern plot, which in part uses vowels to examine class differences, with a feminist angle.
Oal-é is often jokingly referred to as i-oo-my’a, which is a satirical nod to the grain’s vowel-heavy moniker.
Welsh road signs are posted in two languages, English and Welsh (due to budget contraints, the Welsh signs are printed with almost no vowels).
HANGMAN: Flummox your child by coming up with words that have few real vowels.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vowel'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
VOWEL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of vowel for English Language Learners
: a speech sound made with your mouth open and your tongue in the middle of your mouth not touching your teeth, lips, etc.
: a letter (such as a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y in English) that represents a vowel
VOWEL Defined for Kids
Definition of vowel for Students
1 : a speech sound (as \ə\, \ā\, or \ȯ\) produced without obstruction in the mouth
2 : a letter (as a, e, i, o, u) representing a vowel
Seen and Heard
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