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sonorant

[suh-nawr-uh nt, -nohr-, soh-]Phonetics
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noun
  1. a voiced sound that is less sonorous than a vowel but more sonorous than a stop or fricative and that may occur as either a sonant or a consonant, as (l, r, m, n, y, w).
  2. a speech sound characterized by relatively free air passage through some channel, as a vowel, semivowel, liquid, or nasal.Compare obstruent.
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adjective
  1. of, relating to, or having the properties of a sonorant.
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Origin of sonorant

< Latin sonōr- (stem of sonor) sound, noise + -ant; see sonorous
Related formsnon·so·no·rant, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for sonorant

sonorant

noun phonetics
  1. one of the frictionless continuants or nasals (l, r, m, n, ŋ) having consonantal or vocalic functions depending on its situation within the syllable
  2. either of the two consonants represented in English orthography by w or y and regarded as either consonantal or vocalic articulations of the vowels and
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Word Origin

from Latin sonor a noise + -ant
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