Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[ney-zuh l] /ˈneɪ zəl/
of or relating to the nose:
the nasal cavity.
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).
Phonetics. a nasal speech sound.
Origin of nasal1
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English (adj.) < Medieval Latin *nāsālis, equivalent to Latin nās(us) nose + -ālis -al1
Related forms
[ney-zal-i-tee] /neɪˈzæl ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
nasalism, noun
seminasality, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
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


of or relating to the nose
(phonetics) pronounced with the soft palate lowered allowing air to escape via the nasal cavity instead of or as well as through the mouth
a nasal speech sound, such as English m, n, or ng
another word for nosepiece (sense 1)
Derived Forms
nasality (neɪˈzælɪtɪ) noun
nasally, 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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source
nasality in Medicine

nasal na·sal (nā'zəl)
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.
Cite This Source
nasality in Science
Relating to or involving the nose.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for nasality

Difficulty index for nasal

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for nasality

Scrabble Words With Friends