semivowel

[sem-ee-vou-uh l]

Origin of semivowel

1520–30; semi- + vowel; replacing semivocal < Latin sēmivocālis half vowel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for semivowel

Historical Examples of semivowel


British Dictionary definitions for semivowel

semivowel

noun phonetics
  1. a vowel-like sound that acts like a consonant, in that it serves the same function in a syllable carrying the same amount of prominence as a consonant relative to a true vowel, the nucleus of the syllable. In English and many other languages the chief semivowels are (w) in well and (j), represented as y, in yell
  2. a frictionless continuant classified as one of the liquids; (l) or (r)
Also called (US and Canadian): glide
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