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triphthong

[trif-thawng, -thong, trip-]
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noun
  1. Phonetics. a monosyllabic speech-sound sequence perceived as being made up of three differing vowel qualities, as the pronunciation of our, especially in r-dropping dialects.
  2. (not in technical use) a trigraph.
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Origin of triphthong

1590–1600; < New Latin triphthongus < Medieval Greek tríphthongos with three vowels, equivalent to tri- tri- + phthóngos voice, sound
Related formstriph·thong·al [trif-thawng-guh l, -thong-, trip-] /trɪfˈθɔŋ gəl, -ˈθɒŋ-, trɪp-/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for triphthong

triphthong

noun
  1. a composite vowel sound during the articulation of which the vocal organs move from one position through a second, ending in a third
  2. a trigraph representing a composite vowel sound such as this
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Derived Formstriphthongal, adjective

Word Origin

C16: via New Latin from Medieval Greek triphthongos, from tri- + phthongos sound; compare diphthong
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