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From Middle English vouel, from Old French vouel, a variant of voyeul (whence French voyelle), from Latin vōcālis (voiced), itself a semantic loan of Koine Greek φωνῆεν (phōnêen). Doublet of vocal.



vowel (plural vowels)

  1. (phonetics) A sound produced by the vocal cords with relatively little restriction of the oral cavity, forming the prominent sound of a syllable.
    In Welsh, the w usually represents a vowel.
  2. (orthography) A letter representing the sound of vowel; in English, the vowels are a, e, i, o, u, and y.
    Facetious is spelled with five vowels in alphabetical order.


Derived termsEdit

Terms derived from vowel

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Placing of an element:

Types of vowels (phonetics):


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


vowel (third-person singular simple present vowels, present participle vowelling or (US) voweling, simple past and past participle vowelled or (US) voweled)

  1. (linguistics) To add vowel points to a consonantal script (e.g. niqqud in Hebrew or harakat in Arabic).
    • 2019, Tim Mackintosh-Smith, Arabs, Yale University Press, p. 52:
      However it should be vowelled – perhaps ‘Almaqah’ – his name seems to be composed of ‘Il’, the general name of the paramount Semitic deity [] , plus another element that is possibly from the Sabaic verb wqh, ‘to command’ [] .