- (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.
Origin of consonant
SYNONYMS FOR consonant
OTHER WORDS FROM consonantcon·so·nant·like, adjectivecon·so·nant·ly, adverbun·con·so·nant, adjective
Words nearby consonant
Example sentences from the Web for consonants
Remember your consonants are of as great value as your vowels.What Every Singer Should Know|Millie Ryan
This refers to a twofold mode of pronouncing the Palatal and Lingual consonants, whether plain or aspirated.Elements of Gaelic Grammar|Alexander Stewart
The transposition of consonants, especially when s is one of them, is not uncommon in modern Cornish English.The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries|W. Y. Evans Wentz
Consonants are produced by partial or complete closing of the channel by interference of the lips, tongue, teeth and soft palate.The Head Voice and Other Problems|D. A. Clippinger
He drew a strong line of distinction between the names and the sounds of the consonants.
British Dictionary definitions for consonants
Derived forms of consonantconsonantly, adverb
Word Origin for consonant
Cultural definitions for consonants
Letters of the alphabet that stand for sounds often made with a closed or partially closed mouth: B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, V, W, X, Z, and sometimes Y (as in yellow). (Compare vowels.)