Definition of vowel in English:


Syllabification: vow·el
Pronunciation: /ˈvouəl


  • 1A speech sound that is produced by comparatively open configuration of the vocal tract, with vibration of the vocal cords but without audible friction and is a unit of the sound system of a language that forms the nucleus of a syllable. Contrasted with consonant.
    More example sentences
    • After blending consonants and vowels, syllables are blended into words and words are used in meaningful sentences.
    • The language recodes the vowels and consonants of individual Spanish words into whistles.
    • What specialists like Liberman are schooled in, is the rules for sound-shifts in vowels and consonants in any language across the centuries.
  • 1.1A letter representing a vowel sound, such as a, e, i, o, u.
    More example sentences
    • The vowel letter e can represent a variety of sounds.
    • The Lao alphabet also has 38 vowel symbols, representing 24 vowel sounds.
    • While the consonant cards each represent a single letter, the vowel cards give a choice of two vowels and the wild cards represent any letter.



Pronunciation: /ˈvou(ə)ld/
(British vowelled) adjective
[usually in combination]
More example sentences
  • The rhythm and the vowelled music of the long recitative presently acted upon one as a soporific.
  • The vowel i is considered neutral and can therefore occur in both front and back voweled words, but when i occurs in all syllables the word is considered to be front voweled.


More example sentences
  • Unlike English, it wouldn't be a savings even in the long run, because once you gain experience in Hebrew, vowelless text is simpler and easier.
  • It is the property of any vowelless consonant to get help from the consonant next to it as if that is a vowel and thus creating a conjunct.
  • Frank Longo's vowelless puzzle in the Sun last October didn't take me nearly as long - I'm going to chalk that up to sleepiness.


Middle English: from Old French vouel, from Latin vocalis (littera) 'vocal (letter)'.

More definitions of vowel

Definition of vowel in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrə(ʊ)ˈgeɪʃ(ə)n
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space