syllable


syllable
/sil"euh beuhl/, n., v., syllabled, syllabling.
n.
1. an uninterrupted segment of speech consisting of a center of relatively great sonority with or without one or more accompanying sounds of relatively less sonority: "Man," "eye," "strength," and "sixths" are English words of one syllable.
2. one or more written letters or characters representing more or less exactly such an element of speech.
3. the slightest portion or amount of speech or writing; the least mention: Do not breathe a syllable of all this.
v.t.
4. to utter in syllables; articulate.
5. to represent by syllables.
v.i.
6. to utter syllables; speak.
[1350-1400; ME sillable < AF; MF sillabe < L syllaba < Gk syllabé, equiv. to syl- SYL- + lab- (base of lambánein to take) + -e n. suffix]

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Segment of speech usually consisting of a vowel with or without accompanying consonant sounds (e.g., a, I, out, too, cap, snap, check).

A syllabic consonant, like the final n sound in button and widen, also constitutes a syllable. Closed (checked) syllables end in a consonant, open (free) syllables in a vowel. Syllables play an important role in the study of speech and in phonetics and phonology.

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speech
      a segment of speech that consists of a vowel, with or without one or more accompanying consonant sounds immediately preceding or following—for example, a, I, out, too, cap, snap, check. A syllabic consonant, such as the final n sound in button and widen, also constitutes a syllable. Closed (checked) syllables are those that end in a consonant; open (free) syllables end in a vowel. The role that syllables play in the production of speech is a matter of considerable debate. So too is any more precise definition of the syllable in phonetics and phonology.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • syllable — (n.) late 14c., from Anglo Fr. sillable, O.Fr. sillabe, from L. syllaba, from Gk. syllabe a syllable, several sounds or letters taken together, lit. a taking together, from syn together (see SYN (Cf. syn )) + stem of lambanein to take (see… …   Etymology dictionary

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  • syllable — ► NOUN ▪ a unit of pronunciation having one vowel sound, with or without surrounding consonants, and forming all or part of a word. ORIGIN Greek sullab , from sun together + lambanein take …   English terms dictionary

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