• (RP, America) IPA: /ˈsɪləbəl/, [ˈsɪləbɫ]

syllable (plural syllables)

  1. (linguistics) A unit of human speech that is interpreted by the listener as a single sound, although syllables usually consist of one or more vowel sounds, either alone or combined with the sound of one or more consonants; a word consists of one or more syllables.
    meronyms en
  2. The written representation of a given pronounced syllable.
  3. A small part of a sentence or discourse; anything concise or short; a particle.
    • 1622, Richard Hooker, Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie, 60 ↗:
      Then let them cast backe their eies unto former generations of men, and marke what was done in the prime of the World, Seth, Enoch, Noah, Sem, Abraham, Job, and the rest that lived before any syllable of the Law of God was written, did they not sinne as much as we doe in every action not commanded?
    • 1623, William Shakespeare, The Life of King Henry the Eighth [ Act 5 Scene 1]:
      0 Is the King's hand and tongue; andThe Archbishop
      Is the King's hand and tongue; and who dare speak
      One syllable against him?
Translations Verb

syllable (syllables, present participle syllabling; past and past participle syllabled)

  1. (transitive, poetic) To utter in syllables.
    • 1645, John Milton, “A Mask Presented At Ludlow-Castle, 1634. etc.” [Comus] in Poems, 84 ↗:
      0 Begin to throngA thousand fantasies
      Begin to throng into my memory
      Of calling shapes, and beckning shadows dire,
      And airy tongues, that syllable mens names
      On Sands, and Shoars, and desert Wildernesses.

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