Share this entry

velar Syllabification: ve·lar
Pronunciation: /ˈvēlər/

Definition of velar in English:


1Of or relating to a veil or velum.
Example sentences
  • It is possible that the Texas specimens are also instars and have not developed the velar frill of mature specimens.
  • Both species display an association of velar and size dimorphism in the three last instars.
  • Although it is apparently unknown in chondrosteans, it is believed to be homologous to lamprey velar muscles.
2 Phonetics (Of a speech sound) pronounced with the back of the tongue near the soft palate, as in k and g in English.
Example sentences
  • The back of the tongue lies opposite the soft palate or velum when the tongue is in a state of rest, and sounds made with the back include velar consonants and back vowels.
  • In some parts of the country vocabulary loss continues unabated, and many children struggle to pronounce the velar fricative ‘ch’ in ‘loch’ or the ‘wh’ in ‘wheesht’.
  • Modern phoneticians would more precisely categorize such consonants into velar, uvular, pharyngeal, and glottal articulations.


Back to top  
A velar sound.
Example sentences
  • His spelling of tree and leg shows that the Proto-Athabaskan velars had not yet become palatal affricates, as they soon thereafter did.
  • Similarly, the voiceless velar or palatal fricative of OE (as in German ach and ich) continued in use for most of the period in England and continues to the present day in Scots.
  • English doesn't have a general alternation between final velar and coronal nasals: boomerang does not become boomeran ’, and ring does not become rin’.


Early 18th century: from Latin velaris, from velum (see velum).

Words that rhyme with velar

appealer, candela, Coahuila, concealer, dealer, feeler, healer, Keeler, kneeler, Leila, peeler, Philomela, reeler, revealer, Schiele, sealer, sheila, Shelagh, spieler, squealer, stealer, tequila, Vila, wheeler, wheeler-dealer

Definition of velar in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day whippersnapper
Pronunciation: ˈwɪpəsnapə
a young, inexperienced person considered presumptuous or overconfident...