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Word of the Day
Friday, May 11, 2012

Definitions for sibilant

  1. Hissing.
  2. Phonetics. Characterized by a hissing sound; noting sounds like those spelled with s in this.
  3. Phonetics. A sibilant consonant.

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Citations for sibilant
This is the way the presence of a ghost was detected: Some sound would be heard, such as a sibilant noise, a soft whistle, or something like murmurs, or some sensation in a part of the body might be felt. George H. Ellis, Legends of Gods and Ghosts: Hawaiian Mythology
He just drank his coffee, making a little sibilant sound, and watched the earth mover lumber back and forth, back and forth, its shovel going up and down and over and up and down and over again. Anna Quindlen, Object Lessons
Origin of sibilant
Sibilant stems from the Latin word sībilant- which meant "whistling or hissing." It is assumed to imitative of the sound itself.