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.
  1. Phonetics. a syllabic sound.

Origin of syllabic

1720–30; < Late Latin syllabicus < Greek syllabikós. See syllable, -ic
Related formssyl·lab·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for syllabically

Historical Examples of syllabically

British Dictionary definitions for syllabically


  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
  1. a syllabic consonant
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 syllabically



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper