from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A mid-central neutral vowel, typically occurring in unstressed syllables, as the final vowel of English sofa.
- n. The symbol (ə) used to represent an unstressed neutral vowel and, in some systems of phonetic transcription, a stressed mid-central vowel, as in but.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An indeterminate central vowel sound as the "a" in "about", represented as /ə/ in IPA and /@/ in SAMPA and X-SAMPA.
- n. The character ə, an upside-down, backwards, lower-case E
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a neutral middle vowel; occurs in unstressed syllables
German, from Hebrew šəwā', probably from Syriac (nuqzē) šwayyā, even (points), pl. passive participle of šwā, to be even; see šwy in Semitic roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
German Schwa, from Hebrew שְׁוָא (š’vā), meaning "nought". (Wiktionary)