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EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Anglo-Norman sillable, from Old French sillebe, from Latin syllaba, from Ancient Greek συλλαβή (sullabḗ), from συλλαμβάνω (sullambánō, I gather together), from συν- (sun-, together) + λαμβάνω (lambánō, I take).

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

syllable (plural syllables)

  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.
    • 2007, Don DeLillo, Underworld: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Scribner Classics, →ISBN, page 543:
      I wanted to look up velleity and quotidian and memorize the fuckers for all time, spell them, learn them, pronounce them syllable by syllable—vocalize, phonate, utter the sounds, say the words for all they're worth.
  2. The written representation of a given pronounced syllable.
  3. A small part of a sentence or discourse; anything concise or short; a particle.
    • Hooker
      Before any syllable of the law of God was written.
    • Shakespeare
      Who dare speak / One syllable against him?

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

syllable (third-person singular simple present syllables, present participle syllabling, simple past and past participle syllabled)

  1. (transitive, poetic) To utter in syllables.
    • Milton
      Aery tongues that syllable men's names

TranslationsEdit