9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[fuh-net-ik, foh-] /fəˈnɛt ɪk, foʊ-/
Also, phonetical. of or relating to speech sounds, their production, or their transcription in written symbols.
corresponding to pronunciation:
phonetic transcription.
agreeing with pronunciation:
phonetic spelling.
concerning or involving the discrimination of nondistinctive elements of a language. In English, certain phonological features, as length and aspiration, are phonetic but not phonemic.
(in Chinese writing) a written element that represents a sound and is used in combination with a radical to form a character.
Origin of phonetic
1820-30; < New Latin phōnēticus < Greek phōnētikós vocal, equivalent to phōnēt(ós) to be spoken (verbid of phōneîn to speak) + -ikos -ic
Related forms
phonetically, adverb
nonphonetic, adjective
nonphonetical, adjective
nonphonetically, adverb
unphonetic, adjective
unphonetical, adjective
unphonetically, adverb
Can be confused
fanatic, phonetic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for phonetically
  • The uneducated former boatman was not actually illiterate, though he wrote phonetically.
  • Names were spelled phonetically so use some ingenuity in your research strategy.
  • Because many high-frequency words are phonetically irregular, it is necessary for students to learn to recognize them on sight.
British Dictionary definitions for phonetically


of or relating to phonetics
denoting any perceptible distinction between one speech sound and another, irrespective of whether the sounds are phonemes or allophones Compare phonemic (sense 2)
conforming to pronunciation: phonetic spelling
Derived Forms
phonetically, adverb
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin phōnēticus, from Greek phōnētikos, from phōnein to make sounds, speak
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for phonetically



"representing vocal sounds," 1803, from Modern Latin phoneticus (1797), from Greek phonetikos "vocal," from phonetos "to be spoken, utterable," verbal adjective of phonein "to speak clearly, utter," from phone "sound, voice" (see fame (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
phonetically in Medicine

phonetic pho·net·ic (fə-nět'ĭk)

  1. Of or relating to phonetics.

  2. Representing the sounds of speech with a set of distinct symbols, each designating a single sound.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for phonetic

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for phonetically

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for phonetically