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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
weak consonant/syllable
▪ Elision is a closely related subject, and in considering intonation the difference between strong and weak syllables is also important.
▪ In this chapter we look at the general nature of weak syllables.
▪ Not all weak syllables contain, though many do.
▪ The distribution of strong and weak syllables is a subject that will be met in several later chapters.
▪ I couldn't get my tongue around the consonants.
▪ If the language has long and short vowels and consonants, this will affect the rhythm of the language.
▪ It is also good articulation and crisp, clear consonants.
▪ Some phonologists maintain that a syllabic consonant is really a case of a vowel and a consonant that have become combined.
▪ The consonants are grouped together phonetically, depending on the kind of sound they make.
▪ The outline should include phonemic contrastive charts of the consonants and vowels.
▪ The second group causes most of the difficulties in spelling with consonants.
▪ In some consonant clusters, sounds are apt to be elided, ie omitted, in rapid speech.
▪ Background noise may entirely obliterate the consonant sounds.
▪ Even if she only knows a handful of consonant sounds, we can help her to live like an author.
▪ You will remember that consonant sounds are made by creating a brief barrier to the flow of breath.
▪ And resolution has a musical overtone that I like as well: the progression of a dissonant chord to a consonant one.
▪ Dissonance is most powerful in a generally consonant context - hence the need to be extremely cautious in its use.
▪ However, these interests can not conflict too directly, but must appear to be consonant.
▪ On the face of it, this approach is consonant with the requirements of the Act.
▪ Others, then, will have to judge whether my views expressed here are consonant with that tradition.
▪ Their sensory perception as well as their motor responses - their behaviour - are thus totally consonant with their bodily form and function.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Consonant \Con"so*nant\, n. [L. consonans, -antis.] An articulate sound which in utterance is usually combined and sounded with an open sound called a vowel; a member of the spoken alphabet other than a vowel; also, a letter or character representing such a sound.

Note: Consonants are divided into various classes, as mutes, spirants, sibilants, nasals, semivowels, etc. All of them are sounds uttered through a closer position of the organs than that of a vowel proper, although the most open of them, as the semivowels and nasals, are capable of being used as if vowels, and forming syllables with other closer consonants, as in the English feeble (-b'l), taken (-k'n). All the consonants excepting the mutes may be indefinitely, prolonged in utterance without the help of a vowel, and even the mutes may be produced with an aspirate instead of a vocal explosion. Vowels and consonants may be regarded as the two poles in the scale of sounds produced by gradual approximation of the organ, of speech from the most open to the closest positions, the vowel being more open, the consonant closer; but there is a territory between them where the sounds produced partake of the qualities of both.

Note: ``A consonant is the result of audible friction, squeezing, or stopping of the breath in some part of the mouth (or occasionally of the throath.) The main distinction between vowels and consonants is, that while in the former the mouth configuration merely modifies the vocalized breath, which is therefore an essential element of the vowels, in consonants the narrowing or stopping of the oral passage is the foundation of the sound, and the state of the glottis is something secondary.''
--H. Sweet.


Consonant \Con"so*nant\, a. [L. consonans, -antis; p. pr. of consonare to sound at the same time, agree; con- + sonare to sound: cf. F. consonnant. See Sound to make a noise.]

  1. Having agreement; congruous; consistent; according; -- usually followed by with or to.

    Each one pretends that his opinion . . . is consonant to the words there used.
    --Bp. Beveridge.

    That where much is given there shall be much required is a thing consonant with natural equity.
    --Dr. H. More.

  2. Having like sounds.

    Consonant words and syllables.

  3. (Mus.) harmonizing together; accordant; as, consonant tones, consonant chords.

  4. Of or pertaining to consonants; made up of, or containing many, consonants.

    No Russian whose dissonant consonant name Almost shatters to fragments the trumpet of fame.
    --T. Moore.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 14c., "sound other than a vowel," from Latin consonantem (nominative consonans), present participle of consonare "to sound together, sound aloud," from com- "with" (see com-) + sonare "to sound" (see sonata). Consonants were thought of as sounds that are only produced together with vowels.


early 15c., from Old French consonant (13c.), from Latin consonantem (nominative consonans), present participle of consonare (see consonant (n.)).


a. 1 Characterized by harmony or agreement. 2 Having the same sound. 3 (context music English) Harmonizing together; accordant. 4 Of or relating to consonants; made up of, or containing many, consonants. n. 1 (lb en phonetics) A sound that results from the passage of air through restrictions of the oral cavity; any sound that is not the dominant sound of a syllable, the dominant sound generally being a vowel. 2 A letter representing the sound of a consonant.

  1. adj. involving or characterized by harmony [syn: harmonic, harmonical, harmonized, harmonised, in harmony]

  2. in keeping; "salaries agreeable with current trends"; "plans conformable with your wishes"; "expressed views concordant with his background" [syn: accordant, agreeable, conformable, concordant]

  1. n. a speech sound that is not a vowel [ant: vowel]

  2. a letter of the alphabet standing for a spoken consonant

Consonant (band)

Consonant is an alternative rock group formed by singer/guitarist Clint Conley in 2001.

In the late 1970s, Conley cofounded Mission of Burma, a pioneering Boston post punk group. After mostly dropping out of music for the 1980s and 1990s, Conley began writing songs, often with input from poet Holly Anderson.

Conley formed Consonant in 2001, along with guitarist Chris Brokaw, bassist Winston Braman, and drummer Matt Kadane (previously of Bedhead). Though notably less experimental than Mission of Burma, critic Mark Deming declares Consonant is "a fine return to the spotlight for Conley".


In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with the front of the tongue; , pronounced with the back of the tongue; , pronounced in the throat; and , pronounced by forcing air through a narrow channel ( fricatives); and and , which have air flowing through the nose ( nasals). Contrasting with consonants are vowels.

Since the number of possible sounds in all of the world's languages is much greater than the number of letters in any one alphabet, linguists have devised systems such as the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to assign a unique and unambiguous symbol to each attested consonant. In fact, the English alphabet has fewer consonant letters than English has consonant sounds, so digraphs like "ch", "sh", "th", and "zh" are used to extend the alphabet, and some letters and digraphs represent more than one consonant. For example, the sound spelled "th" in "this" is a different consonant than the "th" sound in "thin". (In the IPA they are transcribed and , respectively.)

Usage examples of "consonant".

Since C is active in the map, and D is not very active, the consonant relationship with C causes E to be activated in the map.

Made up of vowels and consonants, speech is not an undifferentiated outburst of sound.

Quenya consonants are easy to pronounce for people used to speaking a Western language.

In a weak rhyme either the vowels are the same but the consonants are only similar, or vowels are altered to create a rhyme that would not exist using normal spoken pronunciation.

It is not surprising, therefore, that precisely those vibrations of the vocal cords, precisely those shapings of the cavity of the mouth, and those positions of the lips, often occur which we observe in the utterance of our vowels, and that among the child-noises produced unconsciously and in play are found almost all our consonants and, besides, many that are used in foreign languages.

Thus the spoken consonants are at last surely recognized in their differences of sound.

The babbling only, abounding in consonants, yields him great pleasure, particularly when it is laughed at, although it remains wholly void of meaning as language.

He most easily retains and repeats, among the infinitely manifold consonants that are produced by loud expiration, those which have been distinctly heard by him.

I have been often surprised to hear how Patti, so conscientious in other respects, slights her texts, obliterating consonants and altering vowels after the fashion of the Italian school.

Having neglected to master the more vigorous vowels and expressive consonants, she cannot assert her art in dramatic works.

They are, certainly, too lazy to pronounce any harsh or difficult consonants, and the Italian language therefore presents a picture of sad effeminate degeneracy compared with the more vigorous Latin and even Spanish.

English vocal style of the future will have to be modelled after the German style, which, instead of shirking difficult consonants boldly tackles and utilizes them.

Wagner has shown in his music-dramas, and Hey in his vocal method, that by means of a proper division of syllables and correct articulation, the harshness of consonants can be toned down as much as is desirable.

It is only an unharmonious combination of dissimilar consonants that offends a refined ear.

This not only insures a smooth, melodious flow, but enables the composer to heighten the effect of any situation by choosing consonants that harmonize with it.