—consonantlike, adj. —consonantly, adv./kon"seuh neuhnt/, n.1. Phonet.a. (in English articulation) a speech sound produced by occluding with or without releasing /p, b; t, d; k, g/, diverting /m, n, ng/, or obstructing /f, v; s, z/ etc., the flow of air from the lungs (opposed to vowel).b. (in a syllable) any sound other than the sound of greatest sonority in the syllable, as b, r, and g in brig (opposed to sonant). Cf. vowel (def. 1b).c. (in linguistic function) a concept empirically determined as a phonological element in structural contrast with vowel, as the b of be, the w of we, the y, s, and t of yeast, etc.2. a letter that usually represents a consonant sound.adj.3. in agreement; agreeable; in accord; consistent (usually fol. by to or with): behavior consonant with his character.4. corresponding in sound, as words.5. harmonious, as sounds.6. Music. constituting a consonance.7. Physics. noting or pertaining to sounds exhibiting consonance.8. consonantal.[1350-1400; ME consona(u)nt ( < AF) < L consonant- (s. of consonans, prp. of consonare to sound with or together). See CON-, SONANT]Syn. 3. concordant, congruous, conformant.Ant. 6. dissonant.
* * *Any speech sound characterized by an articulation in which a closure or narrowing of the vocal tract completely or partially blocks the flow of air; also, any letter or symbol representing such a sound.Consonants are usually classified according to the place of articulation (e.g., palate, teeth, lips); the manner of articulation, as in stops (complete closure of the oral passage, released with a burst of air), fricatives (forcing of breath through a constricted passage), and trills (vibration of the tip of the tongue or the uvula); and the presence or absence of voicing, nasalization, aspiration, and other features.
* * *any speech sound, such as that represented by t, g, f, or z, that is characterized by an articulation with a closure or narrowing of the vocal tract such that a complete or partial blockage of the flow of air is produced. Consonants are usually classified according to place of articulation (the location of the stricture made in the vocal tract, such as dental, bilabial, or velar), the manner of articulation (the way in which the obstruction of the airflow is accomplished, as in stops, fricatives, approximants, trills, taps, and laterals), and the presence or absence of voicing, nasalization, aspiration, or other phonation. For example, the sound for s is described as a voiceless alveolar fricative; the sound for m is a voiced bilabial nasal stop. Additional classificatory information may indicate whether the airstream powering the production of the consonant is from the lungs (the pulmonary airstream mechanism) or some other airstream mechanism and whether the flow of air is ingressive or egressive. The production of consonants may also involve secondary articulations—that is, articulations additional to the place and manner of articulation defining the primary stricture in the vocal tract.
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