Etymology
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sibilant (adj.)

"having a hissing sound," 1660s, from Latin sibilantem (nominative sibilans), present participle of sibilare "to hiss, whistle," which is perhaps of imitative origin (compare Greek sizein "to hiss," Lettish sikt "to hiss," Old Church Slavonic svistati "to hiss, whistle"). Related: Sibilance; sibilation (1620s).

sibilant (n.)

"speech sound having a hissing effect," 1772, from sibilant (adj.). Middle English had sibilatour "one who hisses or whistles" (mid-15c., from Medieval Latin); sibillus "hissing or whistling sensation in the ear" (late 14c.).

updated on September 25, 2022

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Definitions of sibilant from WordNet
1
sibilant (n.)
a consonant characterized by a hissing sound (like s or sh);
Synonyms: sibilant consonant
2
sibilant (adj.)
of speech sounds produced by forcing air through a constricted passage (as `f', `s', `z', or `th' in both `thin' and `then');
Synonyms: fricative / continuant / spirant / strident
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.

Dictionary entries near sibilant

sialo-

Siam

Siamese

sib

Siberia

sibilant

sibilate

sibling

sibyl

sibylline

sic