[ sib-uh-luh nt ]
/ ˈsɪb ə lənt /


Phonetics. characterized by a hissing sound; noting sounds like those spelled with s in this [th is] /ðɪs/, rose [rohz] /roʊz/, pressure [presh-er] /ˈprɛʃ ər/, pleasure [plezh-er] /ˈplɛʒ ər/, and certain similar uses of ch, sh, z, zh, etc.


Phonetics. a sibilant consonant.

Nearby words

  1. siberian larkspur,
  2. siberian ruby,
  3. siberian squill,
  4. siberian wallflower,
  5. siberite,
  6. sibilant rale,
  7. sibilantly,
  8. sibilate,
  9. sibir,
  10. sibirʾ

Origin of sibilant

1660–70; < Latin sībilant- (stem of sībilāns), present participle of sībilāre to hiss), equivalent to sībil(us) a hissing, whistling (of imitative orig.) + -ant- -ant

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sibilant

British Dictionary definitions for sibilant


/ (ˈsɪbɪlənt) /


phonetics relating to or denoting the consonants (s, z, / ʃ /, / ʒ /), all pronounced with a characteristic hissing sound
having a hissing soundthe sibilant sound of wind among the leaves


a sibilant consonant
Derived Formssibilance or sibilancy, nounsibilantly, adverb

Word Origin for sibilant

C17: from Latin sībilāre to hiss, of imitative origin; compare Greek sizein to hiss

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

Word Origin and History for sibilant
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for sibilant


[ sĭbə-lənt ]


Of, characterized by, or producing a hissing sound like that of (s) or (sh).

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.