• synonyms


  1. of, relating to, or consisting of a syllable or syllables.
  2. pronounced with careful distinction of syllables.
  3. of, relating to, or noting poetry based on a specific number of syllables, as distinguished from poetry depending on stresses or quantities.
  4. (of chanting) having each syllable sung to one note only.
  5. Phonetics.
    1. (of a consonant) forming a syllable by itself, as the (n) in button [buht-n] /ˈbʌt n/ or the (l) in bottle [bot-l] /ˈbɒt l/.
    2. (of a vowel) dominating the other sounds in a syllable; sonantal.
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  1. Phonetics. a syllabic sound.
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Origin of syllabic

1720–30; < Late Latin syllabicus < Greek syllabikós. See syllable, -ic
Related formssyl·lab·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for syllabic

Historical Examples of syllabic

  • The Chinese have no alphabet, but about 20,000 syllabic characters.


    Elmer W. Cavins

  • It may prove that there are some ten sheets on the register under this syllabic title.


    Henry Faulds

  • Compare what was said about syllabic m in § 22, and about syllabic n in § 24.

  • Japanese is a syllabic language like our own, but, unlike our own, it is not accented.

  • These four degrees of syllabic and etymological accent are as follows: 1.

British Dictionary definitions for syllabic


  1. of or relating to syllables or the division of a word into syllables
  2. denoting a kind of verse line based on a specific number of syllables rather than being regulated by stresses or quantities
  3. (of a consonant) constituting a syllable
  4. (of plainsong and similar chanting) having each syllable sung to a different note
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  1. a syllabic consonant
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Derived Formssyllabically, adverb
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 syllabic


1728, from Modern Latin syllabicus, from Greek syllabikos, from syllabe (see syllable).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper