consonant: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (kon'su-nunt), [key]
— n.
    1. (in English articulation) a speech sound produced by occluding with or without releasing (p, b; t, d; k, g), diverting (m, n, ng), or obstructing (f, v; s, z, etc.) the flow of air from the lungs (opposed to vowel).
    2. (in a syllable) any sound other than the sound of greatest sonority in the syllable, as b, r, and g in brig (opposed to sonant). Cf. vowel (def. 1b).
    3. (in linguistic function) a concept empirically determined as a phonological element in structural contrast with vowel, as the b of be, the w of we, the y, s, and t of yeast, etc.
  1. a letter that usually represents a consonant sound.
  1. in agreement; agreeable; in accord; consistent (usually fol. by to or with): behavior consonant with his character.
  2. corresponding in sound, as words.
  3. harmonious, as sounds.
  4. constituting a consonance.
  5. noting or pertaining to sounds exhibiting consonance.
  6. consonantal.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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