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Definition of "syllable" [syl•la•ble]

  • A unit of spoken language consisting of a single uninterrupted sound formed by a vowel, diphthong, or syllabic consonant alone, or by any of these sounds preceded, followed, or surrounded by one or more consonants. (noun)
  • One or more letters or phonetic symbols written or printed to approximate a spoken syllable. (noun)
  • The slightest bit of spoken or written expression: Do not alter a syllable of this message. (noun)
  • To pronounce in syllables. (verb-transitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "syllable" in a sentence
  • "Next, (in order to sustain his anti-_th_ theory,) he says, (Vol.III. p. 227,) that "the last syllable of 'murder,' then written _mur_th_er_, _seems to have been pronounced somewhat like the same syllable_ of the French _meurtre_.""
  • "_terminating syllable, _ retains its distinct and intrinsic meaning, as much as when associated with a verb by juxtaposition: consequently, an "auxiliary verb" may form a part of a mood or tense, or passive verb, with as much propriety as a _terminating syllable_."
  • "_radical pitch varies from syllable to syllable_, forming a diatonic melody."