ablaut

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

Nearby words

  1. ablation,
  2. ablative,
  3. ablative absolute,
  4. ablatively,
  5. ablator,
  6. ablaze,
  7. able,
  8. able rating,
  9. able seaman,
  10. able-bodied

Origin of ablaut

1840–50; < German, equivalent to ab- off + Laut sound

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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

ablaut

/ (ˈæblaʊt, German ˈaplaut) /

noun

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

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 ablaut

ablaut

n.

"systematic vowel alteration in the root of a word to indicate shades of meaning or tense," a characteristic of Indo-European languages, 1849, from German Ablaut, literally "off-sound," coined by J.P. Zweigel in 1568 from ab "off" + Laut "sound, tone," from Old High German hlut (see listen). Popularized by Jacob Grimm.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper