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syllable

Line breaks: syl|lable
Pronunciation: /ˈsɪləb(ə)l
 
/

Definition of syllable in English:

noun

1A unit of pronunciation having one vowel sound, with or without surrounding consonants, forming the whole or a part of a word; for example, there are two syllables in water and three in inferno.
Example sentences
  • The vowels of the stressed syllables in such words as father and fodder are generally identical.
  • Students in the low-level group were not reading words but were learning letter names and sounds, and how to blend consonant and vowel sounds to make syllables.
  • After blending consonants and vowels, syllables are blended into words and words are used in meaningful sentences.
1.1A character or characters representing a syllable.
Example sentences
  • As its signs represent native syllables (such as sa and ke), TRANSLITERATION almost invariably produces phonetic change.
  • The Su Tongpo poetry of the Kusoshi is printed in clear, blockish characters, while the waka verses appear in a mixture of cursive characters and kana syllables.
  • Buddhist temple coins here in Japan are inscribed with kana syllables, not kanji ideograms.
1.2 [usually with negative] The least amount of speech or writing; the least mention of something: I’d never have breathed a syllable if he’d kept quiet
More example sentences
  • Perhaps it's just that the jurors are taking their mission very seriously and are reviewing every syllable of every bit of the testimony several times over.
  • A skilled Dakota farmer (like a Murphy poem) therefore wastes no syllable, no bit of dirt.
  • And afterwards Gordon Brown came out and gave a little speech - in which he said not one syllable about the campaign.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
Pronounce (a word or phrase) clearly, syllable by syllable.

Origin

late Middle English: from an Anglo-Norman French alteration of Old French sillabe, via Latin from Greek sullabē, from sun- 'together' + lambanein 'take'.

More
  • Syllable comes via Old French and Latin from Greek sullabē, from sun- ‘together’ and lambanein ‘take’. A syllable is basically a group of sounds ‘taken together’ and uttered with a single effort.

Phrases

in words of one syllable

1
Using very simple language; expressed plainly.
Example sentences
  • Surely there should be a book somewhere explaining all this stuff in words of one syllable for otherwise intelligent adults like me.
  • I'm not sure how to say it in words of one syllable that you can understand.
  • Assistants need to have everything explained to them slowly in words of one syllable, which helps all of us watching at home work to follow the more twisted technical details of the plot.

Derivatives

syllabled

1
adjective
[usually in combination]: many-syllabled words
More example sentences
  • He couldn't say any more then a one syllabled word at the moment.
  • And yet the entire purpose of the exercise would remain lost in the half-baked intellectual stringing together of ten syllabled words.
  • Scientists who jabbered on needlessly using five syllabled words had always gotten on his nerves.

Definition of syllable in:

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