[ shwah ]
/ ʃwɑ /
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the mid-central, neutral vowel sound typically occurring in unstressed syllables in English, however spelled, as the sound of a in alone and sofa, e in system, i in easily, o in gallop, u in circus.
the phonetic symbol ə, used to represent this sound.
THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?
Did you ever collect all those state quarters? Put them to good use on this quiz about curious state monikers and the facts around them.
Question 1 of 8
Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?
Sometimes shwa .
Origin of schwa
First recorded in 1890–95; from German, from Hebrew shəwā, name of a diacritic marking schwa or no vowel
Words nearby schwa
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
British Dictionary definitions for schwa
/ (ʃwɑː) /
a central vowel represented in the International Phonetic Alphabet by (ə). The sound occurs in unstressed syllables in English, as in around, mother, and sofa
the symbol (ə) used to represent this sound
Word Origin for schwa
C19: via German from Hebrew shewā, a diacritic indicating lack of a vowel sound
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