[ 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.

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

OTHER WORDS FROM sibilant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

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 forms of sibilant

sibilance 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

Medical 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.