consonant


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Consonant \Con"so*nant\, n. [L. consonans, -antis.]
   An articulate sound which in utterance is usually combined
   and sounded with an open sound called a vowel; a member of
   the spoken alphabet other than a vowel; also, a letter or
   character representing such a sound.
   [1913 Webster]

   Note: Consonants are divided into various classes, as mutes,
         spirants, sibilants, nasals, semivowels, etc. All of
         them are sounds uttered through a closer position of
         the organs than that of a vowel proper, although the
         most open of them, as the semivowels and nasals, are
         capable of being used as if vowels, and forming
         syllables with other closer consonants, as in the
         English feeble (-b'l), taken (-k'n). All the consonants
         excepting the mutes may be indefinitely, prolonged in
         utterance without the help of a vowel, and even the
         mutes may be produced with an aspirate instead of a
         vocal explosion. Vowels and consonants may be regarded
         as the two poles in the scale of sounds produced by
         gradual approximation of the organ, of speech from the
         most open to the closest positions, the vowel being
         more open, the consonant closer; but there is a
         territory between them where the sounds produced
         partake of the qualities of both.
         [1913 Webster]

   Note: "A consonant is the result of audible friction,
         squeezing, or stopping of the breath in some part of
         the mouth (or occasionally of the throath.) The main
         distinction between vowels and consonants is, that
         while in the former the mouth configuration merely
         modifies the vocalized breath, which is therefore an
         essential element of the vowels, in consonants the
         narrowing or stopping of the oral passage is the
         foundation of the sound, and the state of the glottis
         is something secondary." --H. Sweet.
         [1913 Webster]
.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Consonant \Con"so*nant\, a. [L. consonans, -antis; p. pr. of
   consonare to sound at the same time, agree; con- + sonare to
   sound: cf. F. consonnant. See Sound to make a noise.]
   1. Having agreement; congruous; consistent; according; --
      usually followed by with or to.
      [1913 Webster]

            Each one pretends that his opinion . . . is
            consonant to the words there used.    --Bp.
                                                  Beveridge.
      [1913 Webster]

            That where much is given there shall be much
            required is a thing consonant with natural equity.
                                                  --Dr. H. More.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. Having like sounds.
      [1913 Webster]

            Consonant words and syllables.        --Howell.
      [1913 Webster]

   3. (Mus.) harmonizing together; accordant; as, consonant
      tones, consonant chords.
      [1913 Webster]

   4. Of or pertaining to consonants; made up of, or containing
      many, consonants.
      [1913 Webster]

            No Russian whose dissonant consonant name
            Almost shatters to fragments the trumpet of fame.
                                                  --T. Moore.
      [1913 Webster]
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