Etymology
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vowel (n.)

c. 1300, from Old French voieul (Modern French voyelle), from Latin vocalis, in littera vocalis, literally "vocal letter," from vox (genitive vocis) "voice," from PIE root *wekw- "to speak." Vowel shift in reference to the pronunciation change between Middle and Modern English is attested from 1909. The English record-holder for most consecutive vowels in a word is queueing.

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Definitions of vowel

vowel (n.)
a speech sound made with the vocal tract open;
Synonyms: vowel sound
vowel (n.)
a letter of the alphabet standing for a spoken vowel;
From wordnet.princeton.edu