See more synonyms for phonate on
verb (used with or without object), pho·nat·ed, pho·nat·ing.
  1. Phonetics. to provide (a sound source, and hence the pitch) for a given voiced continuant or vowel, through rapid, periodic glottal action.
  2. to vocalize.

Origin of phonate

First recorded in 1875–80; phon- + -ate1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for phonate


  1. (intr) to articulate speech sounds, esp to cause the vocal cords to vibrate in the execution of a voiced speech sound
Derived Formsphonation, nounphonatory (ˈfəʊnətərɪ, -trɪ), adjective

Word Origin for phonate

C19: from Greek phōnē voice
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

phonate in Medicine


  1. To utter speech sounds; vocalize.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.