[ fuh-net-iks, foh- ]
/ fəˈnɛt ɪks, foʊ- /
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noun (used with a singular verb)

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.
the phonetic system or the body of phonetic facts of a particular language.
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for phonetics

/ (fəˈnɛtɪks) /


(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 considerationsCompare 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

Medical definitions for phonetics

[ fə-nĕtĭks ]


The branch of linguistics that deals with the sounds of speech and their production, combination, description, and representation by written symbols.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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