- (in English articulation) a speech sound produced without occluding, diverting, or obstructing the flow of air from the lungs (opposed to consonant).
- (in a syllable) the sound of greatest sonority, as i in grill.Compare consonant(def 1b).
- (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).
Origin of vowel
Examples from the Web for vowels
Remember your consonants are of as great value as your vowels.What Every Singer Should Know|Millie Ryan
The sound of ea is either made up of the sounds of both the vowels, or like that of one of them.Elements of Gaelic Grammar|Alexander Stewart
Note that the union of vowels in separate words is called synalepha, while the union of vowels within a word is called syneresis.Modern Spanish Lyrics|Various
The whole time of trial is in the recitation of the vowels and also in the recitation of the figures.Matisse Picasso and Gertrude Stein|Gertrude Stein
The proper use of the lips will aid greatly in focusing the vowels.Resonance in Singing and Speaking|Thomas Fillebrown
British Dictionary definitions for vowels
Word Origin for vowel
Word Origin and History for vowels
c.1300, from Old French vouel, from Latin vocalis, in littera vocalis, literally "vocal letter," from vox (genitive vocis) "voice" (see voice (n.)). Vowel shift in reference to the pronunciation change between Middle and Modern English is attested from 1909. The Hawaiian word hooiaioia, meaning "certified," has the most consecutive vowels of any word in current human speech; the English record-holder is queueing.
Culture definitions for vowels
Letters of the alphabet that generally stand for sounds made with an open or partially open mouth: A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y (as in style). (Compare consonants.)