Definition of schwa in English:


Line breaks: schwa
Pronunciation: /ʃwɑː


  • The unstressed central vowel (as in a moment ago), represented by the symbol /ə/ in the International Phonetic Alphabet.
    More example sentences
    • Although not represented in the conventional alphabet, schwa is the commonest vowel sound in English.
    • Of these, 36 have a clear schwa as their vowel.
    • In another example, we observed that only 28% of the teachers could correctly identify the sound of a schwa, as represented in the final syllable of the word ‘happen.’


late 19th century: from German, from Hebrew šěwā'.

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