Definition of alveolar in English:


Pronunciation /ˌalvɪˈəʊlə//alˈvɪələ/


  • 1Anatomy
    Relating to an alveolus.

    • ‘It has been reported that bone loss affects the jaw bones (particularly the alveolar bone).’
    • ‘Many investigators believe that the tumor arises from bronchiolar or alveolar epithelium.’
    • ‘The respiratory bronchiole branches to form alveolar ducts.’
    • ‘These are also observed within alveolar septa.’
    • ‘The alveolar septa showed no significant inflammation or other abnormalities.’
  • 2Phonetics
    (of a consonant) pronounced with the tip of the tongue on or near this ridge (e.g. n, s, d, t):

    ‘voiced and voiceless alveolar stops’
    • ‘It must be rigid enough to promote near zero surface tensions during the alveolar compression.’
    • ‘It shows that the lower a person's social status, the more likely he or she is to use a higher percentage of alveolar rather than velar nasal endings.’
    • ‘Hebrew and Arabic use dentalized t, d, th, etc., while English makes the sounds farther back at the alveolar ridge.’
    • ‘Some years ago it was pointed out to me that when I'm trying to be very precise in talking about linguistics, I use dental rather than alveolar articulations for consonants.’


  • An alveolar consonant:

    ‘boundaries between alveolars and palatals’
    • ‘Both the /s/ and /z/ sounds are alveolars, articulated in the same place in the vocal cavity’
    • ‘The bare letters's', 't', 'n', 'l', etc. cannot be assumed to specifically represent alveolars.’
    • ‘Given that both soft and hard alveolars (‘t’ and ‘d') are used in Punjabi, their representation in the new script would constitute the most baffling problem.’