A vowel (in the sense of a sound rather than a letter of the alphabet) that has the same sound throughout its pronunciation, such as the short vowels in "pap", "pep", "pip", "pop" and "pup", as opposed to a diphthong (eg, /aɪ/, the vowel in "pipe") or a triphthong (eg, /aɪə/, the sound in the non-rhotic pronunciation of "pyre").
Origin of Monophthong
From Ancient Greek μονόφθογγος (monophthongos), from μόνος (monos, “single") + φθόγγος (phthongos, “sound").
Late Greek monophthongos Greek mono- mono- Greek phthongos sound
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
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