[ kon-suh-nuhnt ]
/ ˈkɒn sə nənt /


  1. (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).
  2. (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).
  3. (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.
a letter that usually represents a consonant sound.


Nearby words

  1. consols,
  2. consolute,
  3. consomme,
  4. consommé,
  5. consonance,
  6. consonant shift,
  7. consonant system,
  8. consonantal,
  9. consonantal alliteration,
  10. consonantalize

Origin of consonant

1350–1400; Middle English consona(u)nt (< Anglo-French) < Latin consonant- (stem of consonāns, present participle of consonāre to sound with or together). See con-, sonant

Related formscon·so·nant·like, adjectivecon·so·nant·ly, adverbun·con·so·nant, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for consonantly

  • "They would have socked it to him, I reckon," Jimmy exclaimed, consonantly.

    The Entailed Hat|George Alfred Townsend

British Dictionary definitions for consonantly


/ (ˈkɒnsənənt) /


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


(postpositive; foll by with or to) consistent; in agreement
harmonious in tone or sound
music characterized by the presence of a consonance
being or relating to a consonant
Derived Formsconsonantly, adverb

Word Origin for consonant

C14: from Latin consonāns, from consonāre to sound at the same time, be in harmony, from sonāre to 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 consonantly
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper