A lot vs. Alot: 9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[sib-uh-luh nt] /ˈsɪb ə lənt/
Phonetics. characterized by a hissing sound; noting sounds like those spelled with s in this
[th is] /ðɪs/ (Show IPA)
[rohz] /roʊz/ (Show IPA)
[presh-er] /ˈprɛʃ ər/ (Show IPA)
[plezh-er] /ˈplɛʒ ər/ (Show IPA)
and certain similar uses of ch, sh, z, zh, etc.
Phonetics. a sibilant consonant.
1660-70; < Latin sībilant- (stem of sībilāns), present participle of sībilāre to hiss), equivalent to sībil(us) a hissing, whistling (of imitative orig.) + -ant- -ant
Related forms
sibilance, sibilancy, noun
sibilantly, adverb
nonsibilance, noun
nonsibilancy, noun
nonsibilant, adjective, noun
nonsibilantly, adverb
subsibilance, noun
subsibilancy, noun
subsibilant, adjective, noun
subsibilantly, adverb
unsibilant, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sibilant
  • The third then handles those words that end in a sibilant or near-sibilant, and the last picks up everything else.
  • Signals are distorted, sibilant, and overly compressed.
  • Tho result was greeted with applause by the crowded lobby, through which was heard a solitary sibilant hiss.
  • We are looking for people who are good storytellers and who have a voice that's not too sibilant or too dull.
British Dictionary definitions for sibilant


(phonetics) relating to or denoting the consonants (s, z, / ʃ /, / ʒ /), all pronounced with a characteristic hissing sound
having a hissing sound: the sibilant sound of wind among the leaves
a sibilant consonant
Derived Forms
sibilance, sibilancy, noun
sibilantly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin sībilāre to hiss, of imitative origin; compare Greek sizein to hiss
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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Word Origin and History for sibilant

1660s, from Latin sibilantem (nominative sibilans), present participle of sibilare "to hiss, whistle," possibly of imitative origin (cf. Greek sizein "to hiss," Lettish sikt "to hiss," Old Church Slavonic svistati "to hiss, whistle"). Related: Sibilance; sibilation (1620s).


"speech sound having a hissing effect," 1772, from sibilant (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sibilant in Medicine

sibilant sib·i·lant (sĭb'ə-lənt)
Of, characterized by, or producing a hissing sound like that of (s) or (sh).

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for sibilant

in phonetics, a fricative consonant sound, in which the tip, or blade, of the tongue is brought near the roof of the mouth and air is pushed past the tongue to make a hissing sound. In English s, z, sh, and zh (the sound of the s in "pleasure") are sibilants. Sometimes the affricates ch and j are also considered as sibilants. See also fricative.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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