• WordNet 3.6
    • n syllable a unit of spoken language larger than a phoneme "the word `pocket' has two syllables"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable
    • Syllable A small part of a sentence or discourse; anything concise or short; a particle. "Before any syllable of the law of God was written.""Who dare speak
      One syllable against him?"
    • Syllable An elementary sound, or a combination of elementary sounds, uttered together, or with a single effort or impulse of the voice, and constituting a word or a part of a word. In other terms, it is a vowel or a diphtong, either by itself or flanked by one or more consonants, the whole produced by a single impulse or utterance. One of the liquids, l m n, may fill the place of a vowel in a syllable. Adjoining syllables in a word or phrase need not to be marked off by a pause, but only by such an abatement and renewal, or reënforcement, of the stress as to give the feeling of separate impulses. See Guide to Pronunciation, §275.
    • Syllable In writing and printing, a part of a word, separated from the rest, and capable of being pronounced by a single impulse of the voice. It may or may not correspond to a syllable in the spoken language. "Withouten vice [i. e. mistake] of syllable or letter."
    • v. t Syllable To pronounce the syllables of; to utter; to articulate.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The longest one-syllable word in the English language is "screeched."
    • n syllable The smallest separately articulated element in human utterance; a vowel, alone, or accompanied by one or more consonants, and separated by these or by a pause from a preceding or following vowel; one of the successive parts or joints into which articulated speech is divided, being either a whole word, composed of a single vowel (whether simple or compound) with accompanying consonants, or a part of a word containing such a vowel, separated from a preceding or following vowel either by a hiatus (that is, an instant of silence) or, much more usually, by an intervening consonant, or more than one. Syllables are the separate successive parts into which the ear apprehends the continuous utterances of speech as divided, their separateness consisting mainly in the alternation of opener and closer elements, or vowels and consonants. A normal syllable is a vowel utterance attended with subsidiary consonantal utterances. As to what sounds shall have vowel value in syllable-making, different languages differ; English allows, besides those usually called vowels, also l and n. as in reckon (rek-n), reckoned (rek-nd), riddle (rid-l), riddles (rid-lz). If the vowel is attended by both sonant and surd consonants, the sonant are in general nearer it, as in print. flirt; and also, as in the same words, the opener sounds are nearer it than the closer. But the intricacy of construction of English syllables is tolerated by but few languages; and many (as the Polynesian) will bear nothing more than a single consonant to a vowel, and that one only before it. The assignment of a consonant or of consonants in syllabication to the preceding or the following vowel is in great part a matter of convention, depending on no real principle: thus, in alley, for example, the l is a division between the two vowels, like a wall between two fields, belonging to one no more than to the other. It is on syllabic division that the “articulate” character of human speech depends. (See articulate. Also compare vowel and consonant.) In prosody syllables are classed as long, short, and common (see these adjectives). See also time.
    • n syllable In music, one of the arbitrary combinations of consonants and vowels used in solmization.
    • n syllable The least expression of language or thought; a particle.
    • syllable To divide into syllables.
    • syllable To pronounce syllable by syllable; articulate; utter.
    • syllable To speak.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The letter "W" is the only letter in the alphabet that doesn't have just one syllable – it has three.
    • n Syllable sil′a-bl several letters taken together so as to form one sound: a word or part of a word uttered by a single effort of the voice: a small part of a sentence
    • v.t Syllable to express by syllables, to utter
    • ***


  • Henry David Thoreau
    “I have lived some thirty-odd years on this planet, and I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors.”
  • Victor Hugo
    “To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.”
  • C. T. Mckenzie
    C. T. Mckenzie
    “Man is the principal syllable in Management.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Why do social workers use five-syllable words when dealing with juvenile delinquents?”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. sillable, OF. sillabe, F. syllabe, L. syllaba, Gr. that which is held together, several letters taken together so as to form one sound, a syllable, fr. to take together; with + to take; cf. Skr. labh, rabh,. Cf. Lemma Dilemma


In literature:

The accent in each foot is on the last syllable, but some of the feet are only two syllables long.
"Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 10" by Charles Herbert Sylvester
The name of their own county usually lost the second syllable in sliding between their lips.
"When Grandmamma Was New" by Marion Harland
Without knowing it, she had again wounded his sensitive pride, and he turned away without vouchsafing another syllable.
"Jack" by Alphonse Daudet
She had such immense gravity, such intensity over her one-syllable statements of fact.
"The Branding Iron" by Katharine Newlin Burt
To affect any nearer accuracy than this would be the grossest reliance on the mere jingle of syllables.
"The Posthumous Works of Thomas De Quincey, Vol. II (2 vols)" by Thomas De Quincey
Each syllable was like the incisive tap of a hammer.
"Antony Gray,--Gardener" by Leslie Moore
There is not a syllable to show that the edition above described might not be of Boston in England.
"A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume II (of II)" by Augustus de Morgan
But not a syllable did Kilbride vouchsafe.
"Stingaree" by E. W. (Ernest William) Hornung
All syllables in the Cherokee language end with vowels.
"History, Manners, and Customs of the North American Indians" by George Mogridge
He said it was in two syllables.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 104, May 20, 1893" by Various

In poetry:

She was as fair as early day
Shining on meads unmown,
And her sweet syllables seemed to play
Like flute-notes softly blown.
"The Satin Shoes" by Thomas Hardy
Yet she was fair as early day
Shining on meads unmown,
And her sweet syllables seemed to play
Like flute-notes softly blown.
"The Satin Shoes" by Thomas Hardy
For Love doth use us for a sound of song,
And Love’s meaning our life wields,
Making our souls like syllables to throng
His tunes of exultation.
"Hymn To Love" by Lascelles Abercrombie
I love to toy with pretty words
And syllable them into rhyme;
To make them sing like sunny birds
In happy droves with silver chime,
In dulcet groves in summer time.
"Second Childhood" by Robert W Service
I shall not soon forget her and her eyes,
The haunts of hate, where suffering seemed to write
Its own dark name, whose syllables are sighs,
In strange and starless night.
"Rembrandts" by Madison Julius Cawein
It is falt’ringly said,
O’er the dying one’s bed;
Hopes of bliss doth its syllables tell,
When we feel we must sing
"Praise Jehovah our King!"
In a language that has no "Farewell."
"Farewell" by Joseph Warren Watson

In news:

I involve my students in an ongoing contest to see who can find the most nouns, adjectives, words with four syllables, etc.
The singer could turn a song into an unstoppable force in a single syllable.
The two sweetest syllables I've ever heard in my life.
(If you don't get "Goodfew," stretch it out to three syllables — as the characters do in the final scene to make sure we don't miss its significance.
This Guy Really Enjoy's Pronouncing One Certain Syllable In His Name.
It's Carnaval, with the accent on the last syllable .
The First Syllable How the world began, and why, in the third volume of Roberto Calasso's fiction project.
Can you describe your collection in one syllable.
Shuffle the syllables around, and you could have a sad haiku.
Arizona transportation officials are getting the message out about dust storm safety — in precisely 17 syllables.
It's a rather simple word to say, just four syllables.
WGTE viewers used their imagination and literary skills to write haiku poems (17 syllables in three lines, following a 5, 7, 5 pattern) about Downton Abbey.
Help celebrate Leonard Lopate's 25 years at WNYC by toasting him in just 17 syllables with a haiku written in his honor.
Haiku , as you may know, is a 5-7-5 form of poetry: five syllables, seven syllables, five syllables.
Biden's r-rated health reform headline from yesterday happens to contain seven syllables.

In science:

Let w denote a nonempty cyclically reduced expression over hsi ∗ hti which represents the identity in G(e) , and write len(w) for the (syllable) length of w .
Automorphisms and abstract commensurators of 2-dimensional Artin groups
The next definition makes it easy to describe interesting subsets of elements in Free(X) based on the properties of their syllable normal forms.
A new metric criterion for non-amenability III: Non-amenability of R.Thompson's group F
X in syllable normal form and let A and E be subsets of Z∗ .
A new metric criterion for non-amenability III: Non-amenability of R.Thompson's group F
For example, every word in syllable normal form is a (Z∗ , Z∗ )-word, and W is a (Zodd , Zodd )-word iff every exponent is odd and the parity of the subscripts strictly alternates.
A new metric criterion for non-amenability III: Non-amenability of R.Thompson's group F
When W is a (Z∗ , Z∗ )-word, (which is true precisely when W is in syllable normal form), we say it is a reduced word, and when W is a (Zodd , Zodd )-word, we say it is an odd word.
A new metric criterion for non-amenability III: Non-amenability of R.Thompson's group F