vowel

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n vowel a speech sound made with the vocal tract open
    • n vowel a letter of the alphabet standing for a spoken vowel
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The words "abstemioius," and "facetious" both have all the five vowels in them in order
    • n Vowel (Phon) A vocal, or sometimes a whispered, sound modified by resonance in the oral passage, the peculiar resonance in each case giving to each several vowel its distinctive character or quality as a sound of speech; -- distinguished from a consonant in that the latter, whether made with or without vocality, derives its character in every case from some kind of obstructive action by the mouth organs. Also, a letter or character which represents such a sound. See Guide to Pronunciation, §§ 5, 146-149.☞ In the English language, the written vowels are aeiou, and sometimes w and y. The spoken vowels are much more numerous.
    • a Vowel Of or pertaining to a vowel; vocal.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Out of all the eight letter words in the English language, only one has only one vowel in it: "strength"
    • n vowel The vowel-points, except holem and shuruk, are written below the consonants. The holem is placed above the letter, and the dot of the shuruk within the letter vau to the left .
    • vowel To pay (debts) by an “I O U.”
    • n vowel One of the openest, most resonant, and continuable sounds uttered by the voice in the process of speaking; a sound in which the element of tone, though modified and differentiated by positions of the mouth-organs, is predominant; a tone-sound, as distinguished from a fricative (in which a rustling between closely approximated organs is the predominant element), from a mute (in which the explosion of a closure is characteristic), and so on. Vowel and consonant are relative terms, distinguishing respectively the opener and closer utterances; but there is no absolute division between them. Certain sounds are so open as to be only vowels; certain others so close as to be only consonants; but there are yet others which have the value now of vowels and now of consonants. Thus, l and n have frequently vowel-value in English, as in apple, token; and r is in various languages a much-used vowel. Also, the semivowels y and w are not appreciably different from the i-vowel (of pique) and the u-vowel (of rule) respectively. A sound, namely, is a vowel if it forms the central or open element of a syllable, being a syllable either alone or in conjunction with the closer sounds (consonants) that accompany it. (See syllable.) The openest of the vowels is a (as in far, father); the closest are i and u (in pique, rule); and these three, with e and o (as in they, tone), intermediate respectively between a and i and a and u, are hardly wanting in any known human language. But many others are found in various languages, and their number is theoretically unlimited.
    • n vowel The letter or character which represents such a sound
    • vowel Pertaining to a vowel; vocal.
    • vowel To provide or complete with vowels; insert vowels in (a word or syllable).
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Strength is the longest english word with only one vowel.
    • n Vowel vow′el a sound or tone produced by the unimpeded passage of the breath, when modified by the glottis into voice, through the tube of the mouth, which is made to assume different shapes by altering the form and position of the tongue and the lips—the letters a, e, i, o, u are called vowels, as being able to be sounded by themselves, with a continuous passage of the breath; but there are thirteen simple vowel sounds in English
    • adj Vowel vocal: pertaining to a vowel
    • vs.t Vowel to insert vowel signs in words written primarily with consonants only
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. voyelle, or an OF. form without y, L. vocalis,sc. littera,), from vocalis, sounding, from vox, vocis, a voice, sound. See Vocal
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. voyelle—L. vocalisvox, vocis, the voice.

Usage

In literature:

What word contains all the vowels in their proper order?
"Cole's Funny Picture Book No. 1" by Edward William Cole
On February 23, 1795 Harper sold to John Crips Vowell and Thomas Vowell, Jr., for L150, that part of lot No.
"Seaport in Virginia" by Gay Montague Moore
The Greeks usually divided after a vowel with no regard to syllables.
"Books Before Typography" by Frederick W. Hamilton
Hence the necessity in singing for modifying vowel pronunciation to suit the various tones and pitches of the voice.
"The Mechanism of the Human Voice" by Emil Behnke
What a difference a vowel makes!
"The Complete Project Gutenberg Works of Jane Austen" by Jane Austen
The vowels were dropped.
"The Lords of the Ghostland" by Edgar Saltus
In mountain dialect all vowels may be interchanged with others.
"Our Southern Highlanders" by Horace Kephart
If you are a Western man, you are liable to give your vowel sounds too great breadth.
"Five Hundred Mistakes of Daily Occurrence in Speaking, Pronouncing, and Writing the English Language, Corrected" by Anonymous
Slur your consonants and squeeze your vowels in the three words of this line, "Violets were born," and what becomes of this miracle of spring?
"Vocal Expression" by Katherine Jewell Everts
They bore one to death with their eternal broad vowels!
"Greek Women" by Mitchell Carroll
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In poetry:

And daydawn brows, whereover hung
The twilight of dark locks: wild birds,
Her lips, that spoke the rose's tongue
Of fragrance-voweled words.
"The Garden Of Dreams" by Madison Julius Cawein
Pa and Mummie went like that,
So when tourist takes his stand,
On his Borsolino hat
Soft as whispered love I land;
Then with cooing liquid vowels
I . . . evacuate my bowls.
"The Pigeons Of St. Marks" by Robert W Service
Tones that were fashioned when the faith brooded in darkness,
Joined with sonorous vowels in the noble Latin,
Now are married with the long-drawn Ojibwa,
Uncouth and mournful.
"Night Hymns On Lake Nipigon" by Duncan Campbell Scott
The butterfly and forest-bird
Are huddled on the same gnarled bough,
From which, like some rain-voweled word
That dampness hoarsely utters now,
The tree-toad's voice is vaguely heard.
"Rain In The Woods" by Madison Julius Cawein
And here my tawny Comrades laugh, and reach
Warm hands of mine-the dear brown hands I knew-
With glad, glad greetings in soft-voweled speech,
From hearts that have remembered and been true.
"At Anchor" by Ina Donna Coolbrith
Vowelled talking water, mimicking her voice--
O how she promised she'd surely come to-day!
There she comes! she comes at last! O heart of mine rejoice--
Nothing but a flight of birds winging on their way.
"Broken Tryst" by Richard Le Gallienne

In news:

But those short vowels have remained pretty much constant since the eighth century—in other words, for more than a thousand years.
Whoopi's ' White Noise ,' Sarah Vowell.
Sarah Vowell is a problem.
Congrats to Sara Smith, Juliet Vowels and Kelli Wood.
Pat Sajack would like to buy a vowel with a shot of Jack Daniels as a chaser.
Head on over to RCRD LBL (can they please get at least one vowel in their name.
Just what is this weird grain with too many vowels and why should you be eating it.
But just what is this weird grain with too many vowels (say it: KEEN-wah).
When it comes to the Blues I have heard plenty but Josh Vowell and The Rumble are an incredible array of talent.
Josh Vowell and The Rumble .
It's rising interest is possibly due to a combination of trends, such as the "y" in place of a vowel and the popular "er" ending.
National Book Foundation a Victim of Vowels.
Would anybody like to buy a vowel.
Sarah Vowell will be reading and signing books at Barnes & Noble.
Unfamiliar Fishes By Sarah Vowell Riverhead Books 238 pp.
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In science:

Table I lists the vowels and their codenames, and Table II lists the TIMIT source audio le names and lengths in samples each time series5 .
Testing the assumptions of linear prediction analysis in normal vowels
However, for this same vowel, Fig. 10 shows that the linear metric is identical on both the original time series and the surrogates, and the surrogates are consistent with the null hypothesis as measured by the nonlinear metric.
Testing the assumptions of linear prediction analysis in normal vowels
Figure 1 shows, again for this same sample vowel, the nonlinear statistic applied to the surrogates and the original speech time series.
Testing the assumptions of linear prediction analysis in normal vowels
The broad conclusion is that the linear Gaussian null hypothesis can be rejected for most lags for all the vowels tested.
Testing the assumptions of linear prediction analysis in normal vowels
Even so, some of the vowels are more irregular than others.
Testing the assumptions of linear prediction analysis in normal vowels
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