Share this entry

lenition Line breaks: len|ition
Pronunciation: /lɪˈnɪʃ(ə)n/

Definition of lenition in English:


[mass noun]
(In Celtic languages) the process or result of palatalizing a consonant.
Example sentences
  • The grammar involved in medieval Gaelic names often includes lenition, a "softening" of the initial consonant sound of words or names required by Gaelic grammar in certain situations.


Early 20th century: from Latin lenis 'soft' + -ition, suggested by German Lenierung.

Definition of lenition 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