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



noun, adjective
BrE BrE//ˈspaɪərənt//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈspaɪərənt//
(North American English) (also fricative British English, North American English) (phonetics) Phonetics
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a speech sound made by forcing breath out through a narrow space in the mouth with the lips, teeth or tongue in a particular position, for example /f/ and /ʃ/ in fee and she See related entries: Phonetics Word Originmid 19th cent.: from Latin spirant- ‘breathing’, from the verb spirare.