• synonyms


[ney-zuh l]
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  1. of or relating to the nose: the nasal cavity.
  2. Phonetics. pronounced with the voice issuing through the nose, either partly, as in French nasal vowels, or entirely (as in m, n, or the ng of song).
  1. Phonetics. a nasal speech sound.

Origin of nasal1

1375–1425; late Middle English (adj.) < Medieval Latin *nāsālis, equivalent to Latin nās(us) nose + -ālis -al1
Related formsna·sal·i·ty [ney-zal-i-tee] /neɪˈzæl ɪ ti/, na·sal·ism, nounsem·i·na·sal·i·ty, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nasality

Historical Examples

  • As for the fault of nasality, it is, as I have said, the most difficult to get rid of.

    Caruso and Tetrazzini on the Art of Singing

    Enrico Caruso and Luisa Tetrazzini

  • Why not forswear French again and pronounce nuance without trying vainly to preserve the Gallic nasality of the second n—newance?

    Society for Pure English, Tract 5

    Society for Pure English

  • A very disagreeable and common fault is nasality, or "talking through the nose."

    Talks on Talking

    Grenville Kleiser

  • The common defects of nasality, throatiness, and harshness, are due to wrong and careless use of the speaking-instrument.

    Talks on Talking

    Grenville Kleiser

British Dictionary definitions for nasality


  1. of or relating to the nose
  2. phonetics pronounced with the soft palate lowered allowing air to escape via the nasal cavity instead of or as well as through the mouth
  1. a nasal speech sound, such as English m, n, or ng
  2. another word for nosepiece (def. 1)
Derived Formsnasality (neɪˈzælɪtɪ), nounnasally, adverb

Word Origin

C17: from French from Late Latin nāsālis, from Latin nāsus nose
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for nasality



1650s, "of the nose," from French nasal, from Latin nasus "nose, the nose, sense of smell," from PIE *nas- (see nose (n.)). Of speech sounds, attested from 1660s. As a noun, "nasal letter or sound," from 1660s. Related: Nasality; nasalization.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

nasality in Medicine


  1. Of, in, or relating to the nose.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

nasality in Science


  1. Relating to or involving the nose.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.