diphthong


noun

  1. Phonetics. an unsegmentable, gliding speech sound varying continuously in phonetic quality but held to be a single sound or phoneme and identified by its apparent beginning and ending sound, as the oi-sound of toy or boil.
  2. (not in technical use)
    1. a digraph, as the ea of meat.
    2. a ligature, as æ.

verb (used with or without object)

  1. to diphthongize.

noun

  1. a vowel sound, occupying a single syllable, during the articulation of which the tongue moves from one position to another, causing a continual change in vowel quality, as in the pronunciation of a in English late, during which the tongue moves from the position of (e) towards (ɪ)
  2. a digraph or ligature representing a composite vowel such as this, as ae in Caesar
n.

late 15c., from Middle French diphthongue, from Late Latin diphthongus, from Greek diphthongos “having two sounds,” from di- “double” (see di- (1)) + phthongos “sound, voice,” related to phthengesthai “utter, speak loudly.”

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