Meaning of “phonetic” in the English Dictionary

"phonetic" in British English

See all translations

phoneticadjective

uk /fəˈnet.ɪk/ us /foʊˈnet̬.ɪk/ specialized

using special signs to represent the different sounds made by the voice in speech:

Pronunciations are shown in this dictionary using the International Phonetic Alphabet.

A spelling system can be described as phonetic if you can understand how words are pronounced simply by looking at their spelling.

More examples

  • This is a phonetic transcription of the conversations that were recorded on tape.
  • the International Phonetic Alphabet
  • German is largely a phonetic language.
  • The phonetic representation of a word shows you how to pronounce it.
  • phonetic symbols
phonetically
adverb uk /fəˈnet.ɪ.kəl.i/ us /foʊˈnet̬.ɪ.kəl.i/

She pronounced Leicester phonetically as "Ley-ces-ter', but really we say "Lester."

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

"phonetic" in American English

See all translations

phoneticadjective [ not gradable ]

us /fəˈnet̬·ɪk/

English, grammar relating to the sounds made in speaking

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