Definition of “diphthong” - English Dictionary


“diphthong” in English

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diphthongnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈdɪf.θɒŋ/ /ˈdɪp.θɒŋ/ us /ˈdɪf.θɑːŋ/ /ˈdɪp.θɑːŋ/ specialized

Examples from literature

  • A Latin word has as many syllables as it has vowels and diphthongs. 
  • In diphthongs the accented vowel only is considered if the diphthong occur in an accented syllable. 
  • The ai indicates an original diphthong. 
  • The rule that overrode all others, though it has the exceptions given below, was that vowels and any other diphthongs than au and eu, if they were followed by two consonants, were pronounced short. 
  • We have, therefore, twenty-six letters with which to express fifty or more sounds, not counting the digraphs and diphthongs. 

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