WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
vow•el /ˈvaʊəl/USA pronunciation
n. [countable]WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
- Phoneticsa speech sound, as/i/USA pronunciation ,/ʊ/USA pronunciation , or/ɑ/USA pronunciation , produced without stopping, blocking, or changing the path of the flow of air from the lungs.
- Phoneticsa letter or other symbol that represents a vowel sound, as, in English, a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y.
Phoneticsof or pertaining to a vowel.
- (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. Cf.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).
- Linguistics, Phoneticsa letter representing or usually representing a vowel, as, in English, a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes w and y.
vow′el•y, vow′el•ly, adv.
- Latin vōcālis vocal
- Old French vowel
- Middle English 1275–1325
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
vowel /ˈvaʊəl/ n
Etymology: 14th Century: from Old French vouel, from Latin vocālis littera a vowel, from vocālis sonorous, from vox a voiceˈvowel-ˌlike adj
- 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
'vowel' also found in these entries: