Meaning of “consonant” in the English Dictionary

american-english dictionary

"consonant" in British English

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consonantnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈkɒn.sə.nənt/ us /ˈkɑːn.sə.nənt/

B1 one of the speech sounds or letters of the alphabet that is not a vowel. Consonants are pronounced by stopping the air from flowing easily through the mouth, especially by closing the lips or touching the teeth with the tongue.

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Examples

  • Don't you hate the way she speaks, pronouncing each single consonant so precisely.
  • She's got some unpronounceable name that seems to be all consonants.

Examples from literature

  • Double consonants followed by a vowel must be pronounced really double, as in Italian. 
  • Several initial consonants of words and syllables are commonly interchanged, even by the same speaker if he uses a word more than once during a conversation. 
  • The speaker, therefore, will exercise the greatest care in pronouncing consonants distinctly. 
  • Under what condition is a consonant never doubled at the end of a word? 

(Definition of “consonant” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"consonant" in American English

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consonantnoun [ C ]

us /ˈkɑn·sə·nənt/

grammar a speech sound produced by human beings when the breath that flows out through the mouth is blocked by the teeth, tongue, or lips

grammar A consonant is also a letter that represents a sound produced in this way:

Except for the vowels in English – a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y – all the letters are consonants.

(Definition of “consonant” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)