Key to pronunciations (British and World English dictionary)

The pronunciations given represent the standard accent of English as spoken in the south of England (sometimes called Received Pronunciation or RP), and the example words given in this key are to be understood as pronounced in such speech.


Consonants

The letters b, d, f, h, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, t, v, w, and z have their usual English values. Other symbols are used as follows:

Symbol
 
Example
ɡ
as in
get

 
chip
ʤ
 
jar
x
 
loch
ŋ
 
ring
θ
 
thin
ð
 
this
ʃ
 
she
ʒ
 
decision
j
 
yes


Vowels

Symbol
 
Example
Short vowels
 
 
a
as in
cat
ɛ
 
bed
ə
 
ago
ɪ
 
sit
i
 
cosy
ɒ
 
hot
ʌ
 
run
ʊ
 
put
Long vowels
 
 
ɑː
 
arm
ɛː
 
hair
əː
 
her

 
see
ɔː
 
saw

 
too
Diphthongs
 
 
ʌɪ
 
my

 
how

 
day
əʊ
 
no
ɪə
 
near
ɔɪ
 
boy
ʊə
 
poor
Triphthongs
 
 
ʌɪə
 
fire
aʊə
 
sour

In multisyllable words the symbol ˈ is used to show that the following syllable is stressed, as in /kəˈbal/; the symbol ˌ indicates a secondary stress, as in /ˌkaləˈbriːs/.

(ə) before /l/, /m/, or /n/ indicates that the syllable may be realized with a syllabic l, m, or n, rather than with a vowel and consonant, e.g. /ˈbʌt(ə)n/ rather than /ˈbʌtən/.

(r) indicates an r that is sometimes sounded when a vowel follows, as in drawer, cha-chaing.

Key to the non-anglicized pronunciation of foreign words