vowel

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noun vow·el \ˈvau̇(-ə)l\

Definition of vowel

  1. 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. 2 :  a letter or other symbol representing a vowel —usually used in English of a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y

Origin and Etymology of vowel

Middle English, from Anglo-French vowele, from Latin vocalis — more at vocalic


First Known Use: 14th century

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms


VOWEL Defined for English Language Learners

vowel

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noun vow·el \ˈvau̇(-ə)l\

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

vowel

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noun vow·el \ˈvau̇-əl\

Definition of vowel for Students

  1. 1 :  a speech sound (as \ə\, \ā\, or \ȯ\) produced without obstruction in the mouth

  2. 2 :  a letter (as a, e, i, o, u) representing a vowel



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