[ al-uh-fohn ]
/ ˈæl əˌfoʊn /

noun Phonetics.

any of the members of a class of speech sounds that, taken together, are commonly felt to be a phoneme, as the t-sounds of toe, stow, tree, hatpin, catcall, cats, catnip, button, metal, city; a speech sound constituting one of the phonetic manifestations or variants of a particular phoneme.

Origin of allophone

First recorded in 1930–35; allo- + phone2

Related forms

al·lo·phon·ic [al-uh-fon-ik] /ˌæl əˈfɒn ɪk/, adjectiveal·lo·phon·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for allophone


/ (ˈæləˌfəʊn) /


any of several speech sounds that are regarded as contextual or environmental variants of the same phoneme. In English the aspirated initial (p) in pot and the unaspirated (p) in spot are allophones of the phoneme /p/
Canadian a Canadian whose native language is neither French nor English

Derived Forms

allophonic (ˌæləˈfɒnɪk), adjective
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