Definition of nasal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈneɪz(ə)l/


1Relating to the nose: the nasal passages a nasal spray
More example sentences
  • Nose drop addiction is a vicious cycle requiring more frequent use of nose drops or spray to keep your nasal passages clear.
  • There are several natural remedies available for snoring, ranging from throat lubricants and nasal sprays to nose strips.
  • Your doctor might recommend using nose drops, a nasal spray, a decongestant, or an antihistamine.
2 Phonetics (Of a speech sound) pronounced by the breath resonating in the nose, e.g. m, n, ng, or French en, un. Compare with oral (sense 2 of the adjective).
Example sentences
  • I have never, for instance, heard a speaker of English condemn the nasal vowels or the dropped consonants of the French language.
  • English vowels may be partially nasalized when followed by a nasal consonant.
  • In the former, 12 vowels are distinguished, six oral vowels and six nasal vowels.
2.1(Of the voice or speech) produced or characterized by resonation in the nose as well as the mouth: a drawling nasal voice
More example sentences
  • It seemed like they had so much in common: nasal voices, a taste for writing long, slow, acoustic dirges, and a closet full of flannel.
  • Indeed, her voice was quite nasal; her bright red nose couldn't hide it.
  • His voice was annoying since it had a nasal whine to it.


1A nasal speech sound.
Example sentences
  • These consonants are generally referred to as nasal consonants or nasals.
  • There is one exception to this generalization - the velar nasal may not occur in onset position.
  • From the point of view of the writer, there are a few ambiguities in that in certain environments syllable-final nasals may be written either as nasals or as the plain stops of the same point of articulation.
2 historical A nosepiece on a helmet.
Example sentences
  • Sometimes a nasal would be included to protect the face, often as an extension of the framework although it could be added separately.



Pronunciation: /neɪˈzalɪti/
Example sentences
  • Singers of all ages are discussed, and common vocal problems such as improper breathing, poor articulation, breathy tone quality, strident tone quality, nasality, tense jaw, lazy tongue and the changing voice are examined.
  • ‘En’ is pronounced as ‘eh’ with nasality, as in the vowel in French ‘chien’ (dog).
  • He offers many practical exercises for tongue tension, nasality, diction problems, such as the flipped and trilled Italian ‘r’, and other localized tension problems.


Pronunciation: /ˈneɪzəli/
Example sentences
  • Peabody's accent was high and aloof, crisp on the vowels and nasally through the consonants.
  • It was about this time that the nasally - voiced receptionist decided that she really couldn't pretend that Alli was not waiting any longer.
  • We believe that this technology will be useful against a wide variety of diseases, and will enable a new generation of vaccines to be administered orally and nasally.


Middle English (in sense 2 of the noun): from medieval Latin nasalis, from Latin nasus 'nose'.

  • nose from Old English:

    The Latin root of nose is nasus, which is the source of our word nasal (Middle English), and is also related to ness (Old English), meaning a headland or promontory. A nostril (Old English) is literally a ‘nose hole’. In Old English the word was spelled nosterl or nosthyrl, and came from nosu ‘nose’ and thyrl ‘hole’. Nozzle was originally an early 17th slang form of ‘nose’. To cut off your nose to spite your face was proverbial in both medieval Latin and French, and has been found in English since the mid 16th century. Since the 1780s a nose has been a spy or police informer. The idea of such a person being a ‘nose’, or ‘sticking their nose in’, is also found in words such as nark and snout, and in nosy. The first nosy parker appeared in a postcard caption from 1907, ‘The Adventures of Nosey Parker’, which referred to a peeping Tom in Hyde Park. Nosy itself goes back to 1620, in the sense ‘having a big nose’, and to at least the 1820s in the sense ‘inquisitive’. The common surname Parker was originally a name for the caretaker of a park or large enclosure of land.

Words that rhyme with nasal

appraisal, hazel, phrasal

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: nasal

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