(in English articulation) a speech sound produced by occluding with or without releasing (p, b; t, d; k, g), diverting (m, n, ng), or obstructing (f, v; s, z, etc.) the flow of air from the lungs (opposed to vowel ).
(in a syllable) any sound other than the sound of greatest sonority in the syllable, as b, r, and g in brig (opposed to sonant ). Compare vowel ( def 1b ).
(in linguistic function) a concept empirically determined as a phonological element in structural contrast with vowel, as the b of be, the w of we, the y, s, and t of yeast, etc.
a letter that usually represents a consonant sound.
in agreement; agreeable; in accord; consistent (usually followed by to or with ): behavior consonant with his character.
corresponding in sound, as words.
harmonious, as sounds.
Music. constituting a consonance.
Physics. noting or pertaining to sounds exhibiting consonance.

1350–1400; Middle English consona(u)nt (< Anglo-French) < Latin consonant- (stem of consonāns, present participle of consonāre to sound with or together). See con-, sonant

consonantlike, adjective
consonantly, adverb
unconsonant, adjective

3. concordant, congruous, conformant.

6. dissonant. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
consonant (ˈkɒnsənənt)
1.  a speech sound or letter of the alphabet other than a vowel; a stop, fricative, or continuant
2.  (postpositive; foll by with or to) consistent; in agreement
3.  harmonious in tone or sound
4.  music characterized by the presence of a consonance
5.  being or relating to a consonant
[C14: from Latin consonāns, from consonāre to sound at the same time, be in harmony, from sonāre to sound]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, from L. consonantem (nom. consonans), prp. of consonare "to sound together," from com- "with" + sonare, from sonus "sound" (see sound (n.1)). Consonants thought of as sounds that are only produced together with vowels.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

consonants definition

Letters of the alphabet that stand for sounds often made with a closed or partially closed mouth: B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, V, W, X, Z, and sometimes Y (as in yellow). (Compare vowels.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
In singing the out breath is used primarily for making consonants.
The director liked ejective consonants, a popping utterance that vaguely
  resembles choking.
Scripts where symbols matched consonants or syllables allowed you to exchange
  symbols for sounds.
They also produce an array of consonants by partially obstructing airflow
  within the mouth.
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