- The definition of a phoneme is a sound in a language that has its own distinct sound.
An example of a phoneme is "c" in the word "car," since it has its own unique sound.
Linguis. a set of phonetically similar but slightly differing sounds in a language that are heard as the same sound by native speakers and are represented in phonemic transcription by the same symbol: in English, the phoneme /p/ includes the phonetically differentiated sounds represented by p in “pin,” “spin,” and “tip”
Origin of phonemeFrench phonème ; from Classical Greek phōnēma, a sound ; from phōnein, to sound ; from phōnē, a voice: see phono-
The smallest phonetic unit in a language that is capable of conveying a distinction in meaning, as the m of mat and the b of bat in English.
Origin of phonemeFrench phonème, from Greek phōnēma, phōnēmat-, utterance, sound produced, from phōnein, to produce a sound, from phōnē, sound, voice; see bhā-2 in Indo-European roots.
From Ancient Greek φώνημα (phōnēma), from φωνέω (phōneō), from φωνή (phōnē).