from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A complex speech sound or glide that begins with one vowel and gradually changes to another vowel within the same syllable, as (oi) in boil or (ī) in fine.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A complex vowel sound that begins with the sound of one vowel and ends with the sound of another vowel, in the same syllable.
- n. A vowel digraph or ligature.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A coalition or union of two vowel sounds pronounced in one syllable; as, ou in out, oi in noise; -- called a proper diphthong.
- n. A vowel digraph; a union of two vowels in the same syllable, only one of them being sounded; as, ai in rain, eo in people; -- called an improper diphthong.
- transitive v. To form or pronounce as a diphthong; diphthongize.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To sound as a diphthong; diphthongize.
- n. A coalition or union of two vowels pronounced in one syllable.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a vowel sound that starts near the articulatory position for one vowel and moves toward the position for another
A diphthong is the gliding sound of combining vowels, as in the oy in the head-smacking Yiddish oy veh.
When one syllable of a word ends with a vowel, and the next syllable begins with the same vowel, the hyphen is placed between the syllables to indicate that the two vowels do not form a diphthong, that is, that they should not be pronounced together.
A diphthong is the union of _two_ vowels, pronounced by a single impulse of the voice; as _oi_ in voice, _ou_ in sound.
For example, when you encounter the "eye" diphthong in your words, sustain your voice on the first pure vowel in the diphthong, which is "ah".
He could not reconcile this kind of diphthong living with his notions of piety.
Apropos of that -- we have a 'diphthong' also in this part of the world -- not a _Greek_, but a _Spanish_ one -- do you understand me?
All nasty nouns should be replaced by the word "diphthong".
Apropos of that ” we have a 'diphthong' also in this part of the world ” not a Greek, but a Spanish one ” do you understand me? ” which is about to blow up the whole alphabet.
Many dictionaries and textbooks use/e/for both the diphthong and the single vowel, but in most varieties of AmE the vowel in “egg” is higher than in “bay”, so they need different symbols.
One exercise that I am recalling required placing a sheet of paper in front of our mouths while speaking -- it wasn't supposed to move -- and then there was the problem of diphthong (a special problem for many with "southern" accents) ... ahh, the memories!