Definition of continuant noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

continuant

 noun
noun
BrE BrE//kənˈtɪnjuənt//
 
; NAmE NAmE//kənˈtɪnjuənt//
 
(phonetics) Phonetics
 
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a consonant that is pronounced with the breath passing through the throat, so that the sound can be continued. /f/, /l/ and /m/ are examples of continuants. See related entries: Phonetics Word Origin early 17th cent. (as an adjective in the general sense ‘continuing’): from French, from continuer, reinforced by Latin continuant- ‘continuing’, from the verb continuare, from continuus ‘uninterrupted’, from continere ‘hang together’ (from con- ‘together with’ + tenere ‘hold’). Current senses date from the 19th cent.

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