[ ahb-lout, ab-; German ahp-lout ]
/ ˈɑb laʊt, ˈæb-; German ˈɑp laʊt /

noun Grammar.

(in Indo-European languages) regular alternation in the internal phonological structure of a word element, especially alternation of a vowel, that is coordinated with a change in grammatical function or combination, as in English sing, sang, sung, song; apophony.

Origin of ablaut

1840–50; < German, equivalent to ab- off + Laut sound
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Examples from the Web for ablaut

  • The strong verbs form their preterite (originally the perfect) and past participle by means of ablaut ( 12).

British Dictionary definitions for ablaut


/ (ˈæblaʊt, German ˈaplaut) /


linguistics vowel gradation, esp in Indo-European languagesSee gradation (def. 5)

Word Origin for ablaut

German, coined 1819 by Jakob Grimm from ab off + Laut sound
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