Etymology
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spirant (n.)

breathy consonant, 1862, from Latin spirantem (nominative spirans) "breathing," present participle of spirare "to breathe, blow" (see spirit (n.)).

updated on November 08, 2013

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Definitions of spirant from WordNet
1
spirant (n.)
a continuant consonant produced by breath moving against a narrowing of the vocal tract;
Synonyms: fricative consonant / fricative
2
spirant (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 / sibilant / strident
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.