- Phonetics. an unsegmentable, gliding speech sound varying continuously in phonetic quality but held to be a single sound or phoneme and identified by its apparent beginning and ending sound, as the oi-sound of toy or boil.
- (not in technical use)
- a digraph, as the ea of meat.
- a ligature, as æ.
- to diphthongize.
Origin of diphthong
Examples from the Web for diphthongs
Herbert supposes the diphthongs to be "the first perhaps used in this kingdom."The Ship of Fools, Volume 1
If they appear as proper diphthongs, they follow the rule of diphthongs.The Indian in his Wigwam
Henry R. Schoolcraft
The nasalising of these diphthongs adds to the unpleasant effect.The Sounds of Spoken English
All words have as many syllables as they have vowels and diphthongs.The Classic Myths in English Literature and in Art (2nd ed.) (1911)
Charles Mills Gayley
There are as many syllables in a word as there are separate vowels and diphthongs.A Greek Primer
- a vowel sound, occupying a single syllable, during the articulation of which the tongue moves from one position to another, causing a continual change in vowel quality, as in the pronunciation of a in English late, during which the tongue moves from the position of (e) towards (ɪ)
- a digraph or ligature representing a composite vowel such as this, as ae in Caesar
Word Origin and History for diphthongs
late 15c., from Middle French diphthongue, from Late Latin diphthongus, from Greek diphthongos "having two sounds," from di- "double" (see di- (1)) + phthongos "sound, voice," related to phthengesthai "utter, speak loudly."