Share this entry

obstruent Syllabification: ob·stru·ent
Pronunciation: /ˈäbstro͝oənt/

Definition of obstruent in English:


1 Phonetics A fricative or plosive speech sound.
Example sentences
  • The grid shows that only obstruents (STOP and fricative consonants) enter into the voiced/voiceless distinction.
  • She also found a sex-linked effect with initial sonorants vs. obstruents: obstruents were hotter on males, sonorants on females, though only the female effect was significant.
  • No such requirement holds if the first of the coda consonants is not an obstruent.
2 Medicine A medicine or substance that closes the natural passages or pores of the body.


Mid 17th century: from Latin obstruent- 'blocking up', from the verb obstruere.

Definition of obstruent 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 ads and access premium resources

Word of the day luxe
Pronunciation: ləks
expensive and of high quality; luxurious