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



    BrE BrE//ˈvaʊəl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈvaʊəl//
    (phonetics) Phonetics
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  1. 1a speech sound in which the mouth is open and the tongue is not touching the top of the mouth, the teeth, etc., for example /ɑː, e, ɔː/ vowel sounds Each language has a different vowel system. This neutral vowel is known as ‘schwa’. see also cardinal vowel See related entries: Phonetics
  2. 2a letter that represents a vowel sound. In English the vowels are a, e, i, o and u. See related entries: Phonetics
  3. compare consonant see also diphthong
    Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French vouel, from Latin vocalis (littera) ‘vocal (letter)’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: vowel

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