One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Making or characterized by a hissing sound.‘his sibilant whisper’
- ‘There were shouts and laughter and sibilant whispers.’
- ‘They were modulated, sibilant sounds, fairly deep, probably due to length of the throat.’
- ‘From the quiet strains of a young Henry Mancini to the jarring sibilant tones whenever the monster makes an appearance, it is a piece of movie history.’
- ‘You hear the sibilant whisper of gentle waves washing the shore and you know the sea is calm tonight.’
- ‘We all spoke German, too, at the table - except when talking to the waitress, when we settled into sibilant cadences and sharp vowels.’
(of a speech sound) sounded with a hissing effect, for example s, sh.
- ‘Though everyone else in the picture speaks in some variation of a British accent, poor Jolie has been given the Transylvanian throat-sucker's throaty, sibilant vowels, as well as a wardrobe of snakes.’
- ‘English, Chinese, and Japanese all share sounds that involve very high rates of air flow out of the mouth - the sibilant fricatives.’
- ‘Modern Portuguese is characterized by an abundance of sibilant and palatal consonants and a broad spectrum of vowel sounds (five nasal phonemes and eight to ten oral ones).’
- ‘The addition of e before s after sibilant consonants (pass/passes) and final o (go/goes).’
A sibilant speech sound.
- ‘He kept separate the constituents of consonantal clusters, relishing sibilants and fricatives as much as plosives and liquids, and studied the duration of pauses as carefully as the duration of syllables.’
- ‘Some readers do elocution lessons to get rid of troublesome sibilants or worrisome vowels (try imitating a fish).’
- ‘But I love hearing French rapped - all those elisions and sibilants are a dreamy alternative to hard-consonant English spitting.’
- ‘It doesn't involve any slurry sibilants and its only pesky, easy-to-drop vowel is held prisoner between two rugged consonants.’
- ‘The sun also lingers in the sound pattern; sibilants coupled with long vowels elongate the lines, creating the effect of the lengthening rays of the evening sun.’
Mid 17th century: from Latin sibilant- ‘hissing’, from the verb sibilare.
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