• synonyms


[soh-nuh nt]
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  1. sounding; having sound.
  2. Phonetics. voiced (opposed to surd).
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noun Phonetics.
  1. 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).
  2. a voiced sound (opposed to surd).
  3. (in Indo-European) a sonorant.
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Origin of sonant

1840–50; < Latin sonānt- (stem of sonāns), present participle of sonāre to sound1. See son-, -ant
Related formsso·nan·tal [soh-nan-tl] /soʊˈnæn tl/, so·nan·tic [soh-nan-tik] /soʊˈnæn tɪk/, adjectivein·ter·so·nant, adjectivenon·so·nant, adjective, nounun·so·nant, adjectiveun·so·nan·tal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for sonant

oral, lyric, voiced, singing, choral, vowel, sung, articulate, phonetic, pronounced, said, spoken, uttered, verbal, articulated, expressed, operatic, phonic, vocalic

Examples from the Web for sonant

Historical Examples of sonant

  • For 'voiced,' 'sonant,' 'soft,' or 'media' are sometimes used.

    New Latin Grammar

    Charles E. Bennett

  • Far to the right lay what had once been called (horresco referens) the duckpond, where—Dulce sonant tenui gutture carmen aves.

  • On the other hand, z as the representative of sonant th, is legitimate in the broken English of a Frenchman.

    Pennsylvania Dutch

    S. S. Haldeman

  • The rule of surd to surd and sonant to sonant is neglected in most of the factitious specimens of broken English.

    Pennsylvania Dutch

    S. S. Haldeman

  • Far to the right lay what had once been called (hor resco referens) the duck-pond, where—Dulce sonant tenui gutture carmen aves.

British Dictionary definitions for sonant


  1. phonetics denoting a voiced sound capable of forming a syllable or syllable nucleus
  2. inherently possessing, exhibiting, or producing a sound
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  1. 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
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper