Definition of obstruent in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈäbstro͝oənt/


1 Phonetics A fricative or plosive speech sound.
Example sentences
  • The grid shows that only obstruents (STOP and fricative consonants) enter into the voiced/voiceless distinction.
  • She also found a sex-linked effect with initial sonorants vs. obstruents: obstruents were hotter on males, sonorants on females, though only the female effect was significant.
  • No such requirement holds if the first of the coda consonants is not an obstruent.
2 Medicine A medicine or substance that closes the natural passages or pores of the body.


Mid 17th century: from Latin obstruent- 'blocking up', from the verb obstruere.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ob·stru·ent

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