vowel

[ vou-uh l ]
/ ˈvaʊ əl /

noun

Phonetics.
  1. (in English articulation) a speech sound produced without occluding, diverting, or obstructing the flow of air from the lungs (opposed to consonant).
  2. (in a syllable) the sound of greatest sonority, as i in grill.Compare consonant(def 1b).
  3. (in linguistic function) a concept empirically determined as a phonological element in structural contrast with consonant, as the (ē) of be (bē), we (wē), and yeast (yēst).
a letter representing or usually representing a vowel, as, in English, a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes w and y.

adjective

of or relating to a vowel.

Origin of vowel

1275–1325; Middle English < Old French vowel < Latin vōcālis vocal

Related forms

vow·el·less, adjectivevow·el·like, adjectivevow·el·y, vow·el·ly, adverb
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Examples from the Web for vowel

British Dictionary definitions for vowel

vowel

/ (ˈvaʊəl) /

noun

phonetics a voiced speech sound whose articulation is characterized by the absence of friction-causing obstruction in the vocal tract, allowing the breath stream free passage. The timbre of a vowel is chiefly determined by the position of the tongue and the lips
a letter or character representing a vowel

Derived Forms

vowel-less, adjectivevowel-like, adjective

Word Origin for vowel

C14: from Old French vouel, from Latin vocālis littera a vowel, from vocālis sonorous, from vox a voice
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