All Words Glossary

Glossary of Phonetics Terms
beginning with letter S
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schwa Tweet Definition of schwa Like Definition of schwa on Facebook
  1. An indeterminate central vowel sound as the "a" in "about" or the "e" in "the", represented as ə in IPA and @ in SAMPA and X-SAMPA.
  2. The letter ə, an upside-down lower-case E, used to represent such a sound.
secondary Tweet Definition of secondary Like Definition of secondary on Facebook
  1. Succeeding next in order to the first; of second place, origin, rank, rank, etc.; not primary; subordinate; not of the first order or rate.
  2. Acting by deputation or delegated authority; as, the work of secondary hands.
  3. Possessing some quality, or having been subject to some operation (as substitution), in the second degree; as, a secondary salt, a secondary amine, etc. Cf. primary.
  4. (geology) Subsequent in origin; -- said of minerals produced by alteertion or deposition subsequent to the formation of the original rocks mass; also of characters of minerals (as secondary cleavage, etc.) developed by pressure or other causes.
  5. (zootomy) Pertaining to the second joint of the wing of a bird.
  6. (medicine) Dependent or consequent upon another disease; as, Bright's disease is often secondary to scarlet fever. (b) Occuring in the second stage of a disease; as, the secondary symptoms of syphilis.
semivowel Tweet Definition of semivowel Like Definition of semivowel on Facebook
noun (semivowels)
  1. A sound in speech which has some qualities of a consonant and some qualities of a vowel
  2. A letter which represents a semivowel sound, such as w or y in English.
shortening Tweet Definition of shortening Like Definition of shortening on Facebook
  1. (cooking) fat such as butter, lard or hydrogenated vegetable oil used to make shortcrust pastry.
  2. verbal noun form of shorten.
  1. (present participle of, shorten)
shut Tweet Definition of shut Like Definition of shut on Facebook
verb (shuts, shutting, shut, shut)
  1. (transitive) To close, to stop from being open.
  • Please the door.
The light was so bright I had to my eyes.
  1. (intransitive) To close, to stop being open.
If you wait too long, the automatic door will .
  1. (context, transitive or intransitive, Commonwealth) To close a business temporarily, or (of a business) to be closed.
  • The pharmacy is on Sunday.
  • sibilant Tweet Definition of sibilant Like Definition of sibilant on Facebook
    1. A hissing sound such as the 's' or 'sh' in 'sash' or 'surge'.
    1. Characterized by a hissing sound such as the 's' or 'sh' in 'sash' or 'surge'.
    smooth Tweet Definition of smooth Like Definition of smooth on Facebook
    adjective (smoother, smoothest)
    1. Having a texture that lacks friction. Not rough.
      • 2005, w:Plato, Plato, Sophist. Translation by Lesley Brown. w:Stephanus pagination, 229e.
      • : Teaching that's done by talking seems to have one rough path and another part which is smoother.
        1. Without difficulty, problems, or unexpected consequences or incidents.
        We hope for a transition to the new system.
    sonant Tweet Definition of sonant Like Definition of sonant on Facebook
    1. Of or pertaining to sound; sounding.
    2. (linguistics) voiced
    sonorant Tweet Definition of sonorant Like Definition of sonorant on Facebook
    noun (plural:sonorants)
    1. (phonetics) a speech sound that is produced without turbulent airflow in the vocal tract; the generic term of vowel, approximant, nasal consonant, etc.
    speak Tweet Definition of speak Like Definition of speak on Facebook
    1. language, jargon, or terminology used uniquely in a particular environment or group.
    Corporate speak; IT speak
    verb (speaks or archaic, speaketh, speaking, spoke or archaic, spake, spoken)
    1. (intransitive) To communicate with one's voice, to say words out loud.
    I was so surprised I couldn't .
    You're speaking too fast.
    1. (intransitive) To have a conversation.
    It's been ages since we've spoken.
    1. (context, by extension) To communicate or converse by some means other than orally, such as writing or facial expressions.
    He spoke of it in his diary
    Speak to me only with your eyes.
    I just spoke with them on IRC.
    Actions louder than words.
    1. (intransitive) To deliver a message to a group; to deliver a speech.
    This evening I shall on the topic of correct English usage.
    1. (transitive) To be able to communicate in a language.
    I was so surprised that I couldn't a word.
    He speaks Mandarin fluently.
    spirant Tweet Definition of spirant Like Definition of spirant on Facebook
    noun (wikipedia, Fricative consonant)
    1. (context, linguistics, archaic) A fricative.
      • 1888: w:Joseph Wright (linguist), Joseph Wright, An Old High German Primer
      • :s was a voicless in all positions like the s in English sit
      • 1954: w:J. R. R. Tolkien, J. R. R. Tolkien, w:The Lord of the Rings, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix E.
      • :The raising of the stem indicated the opening of the consonant to a ""
    spread Tweet Definition of spread Like Definition of spread on Facebook
    1. The act of spreading or something that has been spread.
    2. An expanse of land.
    3. A piece of material used as a cover (such as a bedspread).
    4. A large meal, especially one laid out on a table.
    5. Any form of food designed to be spread onto a slice of bread etc.
    6. An item in a newspaper or magazine that occupies more than one column or page.
    7. A numerical difference.
    verb (spreads, spreading, spread)
    1. (transitive) To put one"s legs apart.
    2. (transitive) To divide something in a homogeneous way.
    3. (transitive) To scatter.
    4. (transitive) To put butter or jam onto bread.
    5. (transitive) To expand.
    Missionaries spread their religion's teachings.
    1. (intransitive) To expand.
    The disease had spread into remote villages.
    strengthen Tweet Definition of strengthen Like Definition of strengthen on Facebook
    1. (transitive) To make strong or stronger; to add strength to; to increase the strenght of; as, to strengthen a limb, a bridge, an army; to strengthen an obligation; to strengthen authority; to fortify; to reinforce.
    2. (transitive) To animate; to give moral strength; to encourage; to fix in resolution; to hearten.
    3. (transitive) To augment; to improve; to intensify.
    4. (intransitive) To grow strong or stronger.
    stress Tweet Definition of stress Like Definition of stress on Facebook
    noun (es, -)
    1. (context, countable, physics) The internal distribution of force per unit area (pressure) within a body reacting to applied forces which causes strain or deformation and is typically symbolised by σ
    2. (context, countable, physics) externally applied to a body which cause internal stress within the body.
    3. (uncountable) Emotional pressure suffered by a human being or other animal.
    4. (context, uncountable, phonetics) The emphasis placed on a syllable of a word.
    Some people put the on the first syllable of "controversy"; others put it on the second.
    1. (uncountable) Emphasis placed on words in speaking.
    2. (uncountable) Emphasis placed on a particular point in an argument or discussion (whether spoken or written).
    verb (stresses, stressing, stressed)
    1. To apply force to (a body or structure) causing strain.
    2. To apply emotional pressure to (a person or animal).
    3. To emphasise (a syllable of a word).
    "Emphasis" is stressed on the first syllable, but "emphatic" is stressed on the second.
    1. To emphasise (words in speaking).
    2. To emphasise (a point) in an argument or discussion.
    I must that this information is given in strict confidence.
    strong Tweet Definition of strong Like Definition of strong on Facebook
    1. capable of produce, producing great physical force.
    a man
    1. capable of withstanding great physical force
    a foundation
    1. determined, unyielding
    He is in the face of adversity.
    1. highly stimulating to the senses
    a light
    a taste
    1. having an offensive or intense odor or flavor
    a smell
    1. having a high concentration of an essential or active ingredient
    a cup of coffee
    a medicine
    1. having a high alcoholic content
    a drink
    1. (grammar) irregular
    a verb
    1. (military) not easily subdued or taken
    a position
    1. (slang) impressive, good
    You"re working with troubled youth in your off time? That"s !
    1. in a strong manner
    suction stop Tweet Definition of suction stop Like Definition of suction stop on Facebook
    1. (linguistics) A voice stop in the formation of which air behind the articulation is rarefied with consequent inrush of air when articulation is broken.
    surd Tweet Definition of surd Like Definition of surd on Facebook
    noun (pluralsurds)
    1. (arithmetic) An irrational number, especially one expressed using the √ symbol.
    2. (linguistics) A voiceless consonant.
    syllabicate Tweet Definition of syllabicate Like Definition of syllabicate on Facebook
    verbto syllabicate
    1. to syllabify
    syllabify Tweet Definition of syllabify Like Definition of syllabify on Facebook
    verb (syllabifies, syllabifying, syllabified)
    1. To divide a word into syllables; to syllabicate
    syllable Tweet Definition of syllable Like Definition of syllable on Facebook
    1. (linguistics) a unit of human speech that is interpreted by the listener as a single sound, although syllables usually consist of one or more vowel sounds, either alone or combined with the sound of one or more consonants. A word consists of one or more syllables.
    2. (grammar) the letters that represent a syllable
    synaeresis Tweet Definition of synaeresis Like Definition of synaeresis on Facebook
    1. (linguistics) the contraction of two vowels into a diphthong or a long vowel.
    An example of is the contraction of the -ew ((IPA, /u/)) and or- ((IPA, /oʊɹ/)) of w:New Orleans, New Orleans into (IPA, /n"lənz/).
    1. (chemistry) the separating out of the liquid from a gel.
    syncopation Tweet Definition of syncopation Like Definition of syncopation on Facebook
    1. Use of rhythmic units or patterns which do not confirm the pulses on a metric level. (DeLone? et. al. (Eds.), 1975, chap. 3) (rfc, music definition needs rewritten because the current one is copyrighted)
    syncope Tweet Definition of syncope Like Definition of syncope on Facebook
    1. A loss of consciousness when someone faints, a swoon.
    • 1973: the rapidly-whitening face, the miserable fixed smile, meant a within the next few bars. " Patrick O'Brian, HMS Surprise
      1. A way of making a word shorter by leaving out sounds or letters in the middle of it, for example by changing cannot to can't.

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