Definition of syllable in English:

syllable

Syllabification: syl·la·ble
Pronunciation: /ˈsiləbəl
 
/

noun

  • 1A unit of pronunciation having one vowel sound, with or without surrounding consonants, forming the whole or a part of a word; e.g., there are two syllables in water and three in inferno.
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    • The vowels of the stressed syllables in such words as father and fodder are generally identical.
    • Students in the low-level group were not reading words but were learning letter names and sounds, and how to blend consonant and vowel sounds to make syllables.
    • After blending consonants and vowels, syllables are blended into words and words are used in meaningful sentences.
  • 1.1A character or characters representing a syllable.
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    • As its signs represent native syllables (such as sa and ke), TRANSLITERATION almost invariably produces phonetic change.
    • The Su Tongpo poetry of the Kusoshi is printed in clear, blockish characters, while the waka verses appear in a mixture of cursive characters and kana syllables.
    • Buddhist temple coins here in Japan are inscribed with kana syllables, not kanji ideograms.
  • 1.2 [usually with negative] The least amount of speech or writing; the least mention of something: I’d never have breathed a syllable if he’d kept quiet
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    • Perhaps it's just that the jurors are taking their mission very seriously and are reviewing every syllable of every bit of the testimony several times over.
    • A skilled Dakota farmer (like a Murphy poem) therefore wastes no syllable, no bit of dirt.
    • And afterwards Gordon Brown came out and gave a little speech - in which he said not one syllable about the campaign.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
  • Pronounce (a word or phrase) clearly, syllable by syllable.

Derivatives

syllabled

adjective
[usually in combination]: poems of few-syllabled lines
More example sentences
  • He couldn't say any more then a one syllabled word at the moment.
  • And yet the entire purpose of the exercise would remain lost in the half-baked intellectual stringing together of ten syllabled words.
  • Scientists who jabbered on needlessly using five syllabled words had always gotten on his nerves.

Origin

late Middle English: from an Anglo-Norman French alteration of Old French sillabe, via Latin from Greek sullabē, from sun- 'together' + lambanein 'take'.

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noun
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