Definition of vowel in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈvaʊəl/


1A speech sound which is produced by comparatively open configuration of the vocal tract, with vibration of the vocal cords but without audible friction, and which is a unit of the sound system of a language that forms the nucleus of a syllable. Contrasted with consonant.
Example sentences
  • After blending consonants and vowels, syllables are blended into words and words are used in meaningful sentences.
  • The language recodes the vowels and consonants of individual Spanish words into whistles.
  • What specialists like Liberman are schooled in, is the rules for sound-shifts in vowels and consonants in any language across the centuries.
1.1A letter representing a vowel sound, such as a, e, i, o, u.
Example sentences
  • The vowel letter e can represent a variety of sounds.
  • The Lao alphabet also has 38 vowel symbols, representing 24 vowel sounds.
  • While the consonant cards each represent a single letter, the vowel cards give a choice of two vowels and the wild cards represent any letter.



(US voweled) adjective
[usually in combination]: her deep-vowelled Russian pronunciation
More example sentences
  • The rhythm and the vowelled music of the long recitative presently acted upon one as a soporific.
  • The vowel i is considered neutral and can therefore occur in both front and back voweled words, but when i occurs in all syllables the word is considered to be front voweled.


Example sentences
  • Unlike English, it wouldn't be a savings even in the long run, because once you gain experience in Hebrew, vowelless text is simpler and easier.
  • It is the property of any vowelless consonant to get help from the consonant next to it as if that is a vowel and thus creating a conjunct.
  • Frank Longo's vowelless puzzle in the Sun last October didn't take me nearly as long - I'm going to chalk that up to sleepiness.


Example sentences
  • Onomatopoeia is that vowelly word where the meaning sounds like what it is.
  • He sounds like an actor with a vowelly shopping-mall accent, and I never fully believed him.
  • Lots of vowelly sounds and the expression control is good.


Middle English: from Old French vouel, from Latin vocalis (littera) 'vocal (letter)'.

  • voice from Middle English:

    A word derived from Latin vox ‘voice’ and is related to vocabulary (mid 16th century), vocal (Middle English), vocation (Late Middle English), and vociferous (early 17th century), while the verb vocare ‘to call’ appears in convoke (late 16th century) ‘call together’; equivocate (Late Middle English) literally ‘call by the same name’; evoke (early 17th century) ‘call out’; invoke (Late Middle English) ‘call upon’; provoke (Late Middle English) ‘call forth’; revoke (Late Middle English) ‘call back’; and vouch (Middle English) and voucher (early 16th century). Vowel (Middle English) is from Old French vouel, from Latin vocalis (littera) ‘vocal (letter)’. The Latin root survives in vox pop, ‘an informal survey of people's opinion’, which is short for Latin vox populi or ‘voice of the people’. When people refer to an ignored advocate of reform as a voice in the wilderness they are echoing the words of John the Baptist proclaiming the coming of the Messiah: ‘I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness.’

Words that rhyme with vowel

avowal, Baden-Powell, bowel, disembowel, dowel, Howell, Powell, rowel, towel, trowel

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: vowel

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