Definition of phonic in English:


Pronunciation: /ˈfəʊnɪk//ˈfɒnɪk/


  • 1Relating to speech sounds.

    ‘the devices of poetry foreground phonic elements that are usually ignored in practical speech’
    • ‘My question then is, if music can be appreciated as simply tones and noises, why can't words simply be appreciated for their phonic qualities and not as carriers of a deeper meaning?’
    • ‘Since the phonic structure of groans is individually distinct, and for example, red deer hinds can discriminate between their offspring and other calves based on their calls, this remains a viable possibility.’
    • ‘But you can have a developed, very good phonic awareness, very good phonics, but still not comprehend, which is of course the end result, that's what we want kids to do.’
    • ‘The words are organized into phonic categories and include both real words and pseudowords.’
    • ‘For a diagnosis of TS to be made, both motor and phonic tics must be present for at least 1 year.’
    1. 1.1Relating to phonics.
      ‘the English language presents difficulties if a purely phonic approach is attempted’
      • ‘Word Attack requires students to pronounce nonsense words using phonic and structural analysis skills.’
      • ‘The phonic method has reappeared for teaching reading and spelling in the early primary school, after some thirty years of official neglect in favour of word recognition.’
      • ‘It does not matter who owns the schools, he says, as long as we have phonic teaching of reading and as long as we have performance pay.’
      • ‘Spelling improvement can facilitate reading and spelling processes that work by eye as well as by ear, and directly represent meaning visually on the page as well as worked out by phonic decoding of the words.’
      • ‘MPs call for a phonic system to tackle school illiteracy.’


Early 19th century: from Greek phōnē voice + -ic.