diphthong

[dif-thawng, -thong, dip-]
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.
a.
a digraph, as the ea of meat.
b.
a ligature, as æ.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)

Origin:
1425–75; late Middle English diptonge < Late Latin diphthongus < Greek díphthongos literally, having two sounds (di- di-1 + phthóngos voice, sound)

diphthongal [dif-thawng-guhl, -thong-, dip-] , diphthongic, diphthongous, adjective
nondiphthongal, adjective
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World English Dictionary
diphthong (ˈdɪfθɒŋ, ˈdɪp-)
 
n
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 ()
2.  a digraph or ligature representing a composite vowel such as this, as ae in Caesar
 
[C15: from Late Latin diphthongus, from Greek diphthongos, from di-1 + phthongos sound]
 
diph'thongal
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

diphthong
late 15c., from M.Fr., from L.L., from Gk. diphthongos, from di- "double" + phthongos "sound, voice," related to phthengesthai "utter, speak loudly."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Sounds of individual letters, digraphs, and diphthongs are blended to form
  syllables.
Demonstrate difference between pure vowels and diphthongs.
Pronounce long and short vowels, blends, and diphthongs.
Use knowledge of spelling patterns such as diphthongs, and special vowel
  spellings when reading.
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