[ fuh-net-iks, foh- ]
See synonyms for phonetics on
noun(used with a singular verb)
  1. the science or study of speech sounds and their production, transmission, and reception, and their analysis, classification, and transcription.: Compare acoustic phonetics, articulatory phonetics, auditory phonetics, physiological phonetics.

  2. the phonetic system or the body of phonetic facts of a particular language.

  1. the symbols used to represent the speech sounds of a language.

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Origin of phonetics

First recorded in 1835–45; see origin at phonetic, -ics

Words Nearby phonetics Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use phonetics in a sentence

  • In phonetics, as in vocabulary, we must be careful not to exaggerate the importance of interlinguistic influences.

    Language | Edward Sapir
  • She isn't sorry to tally the pet (whose phonetics we employ) "dest wunced round the p on her soulders, only zis wunced."

    Somehow Good | William de Morgan

British Dictionary definitions for phonetics


/ (fəˈnɛtɪks) /

  1. (functioning as singular) the science concerned with the study of speech processes, including the production, perception, and analysis of speech sounds from both an acoustic and a physiological point of view. This science, though capable of being applied to language studies, technically excludes linguistic considerations: Compare phonology

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