[ kon-suh-nuhnt ]
See synonyms for: consonantconsonantsconsonantly on

  1. Phonetics.

    • (in English articulation) a speech sound produced by occluding with or without releasing (p, b; t, d; k, g), diverting (m, n, ng), or obstructing (f, v; s, z, etc.) the flow of air from the lungs (opposed to vowel).

    • (in a syllable) any sound other than the sound of greatest sonority in the syllable, as b, r, and g in brig (opposed to sonant).: Compare vowel (def. 1b).

    • (in linguistic function) a concept empirically determined as a phonological element in structural contrast with vowel, as the b of be, the w of we, the y, s, and t of yeast, etc.

  2. a letter that usually represents a consonant sound.

  1. in agreement; agreeable; in accord; consistent (usually followed by to or with): behavior consonant with his character.

  2. corresponding in sound, as words.

  1. harmonious, as sounds.

  2. Music. constituting a consonance.

  3. Physics. noting or pertaining to sounds exhibiting consonance.

Origin of consonant

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English consona(u)nt, from Anglo-French, from Latin consonant-, stem of consonāns “sounding together,” present participle of consonāre “to sound with or together”; equivalent to con- + sonant

Other words for consonant

Opposites for consonant

Other words from consonant

  • con·so·nant·like, adjective
  • con·so·nant·ly, adverb
  • un·con·so·nant, adjective

Words Nearby consonant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use consonant in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for consonant


/ (ˈkɒnsənənt) /

  1. a speech sound or letter of the alphabet other than a vowel; a stop, fricative, or continuant

  1. (postpositive; foll by with or to) consistent; in agreement

  2. harmonious in tone or sound

  1. music characterized by the presence of a consonance

  2. being or relating to a consonant

Origin of consonant

C14: from Latin consonāns, from consonāre to sound at the same time, be in harmony, from sonāre to sound

Derived forms of consonant

  • consonantly, adverb

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