[ lee-nis, ley- ]
/ ˈli nɪs, ˈleɪ- /


pronounced with relatively weak muscular tension and breath pressure, resulting in weak sound effect: in stressed or unstressed position, (b, d, g, j, v, th̸, z, and zh) are lenis in English, as compared with (p, t, k, ch, f, th, s, and sh), which are fortis.Compare fortis(def 1).

noun, plural le·nes [lee-neez, ley-] /ˈli niz, ˈleɪ-/.

a lenis consonant.


Discover The Influence Of Portuguese On English Via This Quiz!
We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?

Origin of lenis

1925–30; < Latin: soft, mild, gentle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for lenes

British Dictionary definitions for lenes

/ (ˈliːnɪs) phonetics /


(of a consonant) articulated with weak muscular tension

noun plural lenes (ˈliːniːz)

a consonant, such as English b or v, pronounced with weak muscular force
Compare fortis

Word Origin for lenis

C19: from Latin: gentle
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