• synonyms


[ley-bee-uh l]
  1. of, relating to, or resembling a labium.
  2. of or relating to the lips.
  3. Phonetics. involving lip articulation, as p, v, m, w, or a rounded vowel.
  4. Music. having the tones produced by the impact of a stream of air on a sharp liplike edge, as in a flute or the flue pipes of an organ.
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noun Phonetics.
  1. any labial consonant, especially a bilabial.
  2. any labial sound.
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Origin of labial

From the Medieval Latin word labiālis, dating back to 1585–95. See labium, -al1
Related formsla·bi·al·i·ty, nounla·bi·al·ly, adverbin·ter·la·bi·al, adjectivepost·la·bi·al, adjectivepost·la·bi·al·ly, adverbpre·la·bi·al, adjectivepseu·do·la·bi·al, adjectivesub·la·bi·al, adjectivesub·la·bi·al·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for labial

Historical Examples

  • Labial tics of this nature may be styled tics of facial mimicry.

    Tics and Their Treatment

    Henry Meigne

  • Labial lobes large, oval, contiguous with one another, at the tip of the labrum.

  • Labial palpi rather bulky, short and with three joints, like the antenn.

  • In Adjectives beginning with a Labial or a Palatal, the aspirated form alone is used in the gen. and voc.

  • Labial palpi four or five-segmented; asymmetrical (membranous behind), apex acute.

    Handbook of Medical Entomology

    William Albert Riley

British Dictionary definitions for labial


  1. of, relating to, or near lips or labia
  2. music producing sounds by the action of an air stream over a narrow liplike fissure, as in a flue pipe of an organ
  3. phonetics relating to a speech sound whose articulation involves movement or use of the lipsa labial click
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  1. Also called: labial pipe music an organ pipe with a liplike fissure
  2. phonetics a speech sound such as English p or m, whose articulation involves movement or use of the lips
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Derived Formslabiality, nounlabially, adverb

Word Origin

C16: from Medieval Latin labiālis, from Latin labium lip
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 labial


"pertaining to the lips," 1590s, from Medieval Latin labialis "having to do with the lips," from Latin labium "lip" (see lip (n.)). The noun meaning "a labial sound" is from 1660s. Related: Labially.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

labial in Medicine


  1. Relating to the lips or labia.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.