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minimal pair

noun, Linguistics
1.
a pair of words, as pin and bin, or bet and bed, differing only by one sound in the same position in each word, especially when such a pair is taken as evidence for the existence of a phonemic contrast between the two sounds.
Origin
1940-1945
1940-45
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for minimal pair
  • The teacher can check whether they can distinguish these two sounds accurately with a minimal pair exercise.
British Dictionary definitions for minimal pair

minimal pair

noun
1.
(linguistics) a pair of speech elements in a given language differing in only one respect and thus serving to identify minimum units such as phonemes, morphemes, etc. For example, tin and din constitute a minimal pair in English
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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