[soh-nuh nt]


sounding; having sound.
Phonetics. voiced (opposed to surd).

noun Phonetics.

a speech sound that by itself makes a syllable or subordinates to itself the other sounds in the syllable; a syllabic sound (opposed to consonant).
a voiced sound (opposed to surd).
(in Indo-European) a sonorant.

Nearby words

  1. son-,
  2. son-in-law,
  3. son-of-a-bitch stew,
  4. sonal,
  5. sonance,
  6. sonantal,
  7. sonantic,
  8. sonar,
  9. sonarman,
  10. sonata

Origin of sonant

1840–50; < Latin sonānt- (stem of sonāns), present participle of sonāre to sound1. See son-, -ant

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

Examples from the Web for sonant

British Dictionary definitions for sonant



phonetics denoting a voiced sound capable of forming a syllable or syllable nucleus
inherently possessing, exhibiting, or producing a sound


phonetics a voiced sound belonging to the class of frictionless continuants or nasals (l, r, m, n, ŋ) considered from the point of view of being a vowel and, in this capacity, able to form a syllable or syllable nucleus
Derived Formssonance, nounsonantal (səʊˈnæntəl) or sonantic, adjective

Word Origin for sonant

C19: from Latin sonāns sounding, from sonāre to make a noise, resound

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 sonant



1846, from Latin sonantem (nominative sonans), present participle of sonare "make a noise," (see sonata). As a noun from 1849.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper