[ dahy-uh-fohn ]
/ ˈdaɪ əˌfoʊn /


a foghorn producing a low-pitched, penetrating signal of two tones.
  1. a phoneme in one dialect corresponding to a similar but phonetically different phoneme in a related dialect.
  2. a group of sounds comprising all the phonetically different dialectal variants of a given phoneme in a language: The broad a and flat a of “half” are members of a single diaphone.

Origin of diaphone

First recorded in 1905–10; dia- + -phone
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for diaphone

British Dictionary definitions for diaphone


/ (ˈdaɪəˌfəʊn) /


  1. the set of all realizations of a given phoneme in a language
  2. one of any number of corresponding sounds in different dialects of a language
a foghorn that emits a two-toned signal

Word Origin for diaphone

C20: from dia (lect) + phone ²
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