[ roh-tuh-siz-uh m ]
/ ˈroʊ təˌsɪz əm /


Historical Linguistics. a change of a speech sound, especially (s), to (r), as in the change from Old Latin lases to Latin lares.
excessive use of the sound (r), its misarticulation, or the substitution of another sound for it.

Origin of rhotacism

1825–35; < Greek rhô rho + (io)tacism

Related forms

rho·ta·cis·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for rhotacism


/ (ˈrəʊtəˌsɪzəm) /

noun phonetics

excessive use or idiosyncratic pronunciation of r

Derived Forms

rhotacist, nounrhotacistic, adjective

Word Origin for rhotacism

C19: from New Latin rhōtacismus, from Greek rhōtakizein (verb) from the letter rho
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