The definition of a vowel is a letter representing a speech sound made with the vocal tract open, specifically the letters A, E, I, O, U.
The letter "A" is an example of a vowel.
- any voiced speech sound characterized by generalized friction of the air passing in a continuous stream through the pharynx and opened mouth but with no constriction narrow enough to produce local friction; the sound of the greatest prominence in most syllables
- a letter (as a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y) or a character or a symbol representing such a sound
Origin of vowelMiddle English vowelle ; from Middle French vouel ; from Classical Latin vocalis (littera), vocal (letter), vowel ; from vox, voice
of a vowel or vowels
- A speech sound, such as (ē) or (ĭ), created by the relatively free passage of breath through the larynx and oral cavity, usually forming the most prominent and central sound of a syllable.
- A letter, such as a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y in the English alphabet, that represents a vowel.
Origin of vowelMiddle English vowelle, from Old French vouel, from Latin (littera) vōcālis, sounding (letter), from vōx, vōc-, voice; see wekw- in Indo-European roots.
From Old French vouel (French: voyelle), from Latin vÅcÄlis (“voiced").