- the next to the last syllable in a word.
Also pe·nul·ti·ma [pi-nuhl-tuh-muh] /pɪˈnʌl tə mə/.
Origin of penult
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for penult
I am unaware why the accent is on the penult, and not on the ultimate of Willamette.
The Indian name is pronounced as if written “Thayendanauga,” with accent on penult.The American Revolution
Names on which accents are not placed are accented on the penult.Creation Myths of Primitive America
When the last syllable has a short vowel, such a penult, if accented, takes the circumflex.Greek in a Nutshell
Worcester's orthography is Hindostanee and Hindostany, but the accent is on the penult as above.Every-Day Errors of Speech
L. P. Meredith
- the last syllable but one in a word
C16: Latin paenultima syllaba, from paene ultima almost the last
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 penult
"last but one," 1530s, abbreviation of penultima. As a noun from 1570s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper