consonant

[ kon-suh-nuhnt ]
/ ˈkɒn sə nənt /

noun

Phonetics.
  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.

adjective

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 forms

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

Examples from the Web for consonants

British Dictionary definitions for consonants

consonant

/ (ˈkɒnsənənt) /

noun

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

adjective

(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 Forms

consonantly, 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

Culture definitions for consonants

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.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.