Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to sibilant: biscuity, boskage, Sibilant sound


Of, characterized by, or producing a hissing sound like that of (s) or (sh): the sibilant consonants; a sibilant bird call.
A sibilant speech sound, such as English (s), (sh), (z), or (zh).

[Latin sībilāns, sībilant-, present participle of sībilāre, to hiss.]

sib′i·lance, sib′i·lan·cy n.
sib′i·lant·ly adv.


(ˈsɪbɪlənt) or


1. (Phonetics & Phonology) phonetics relating to or denoting the consonants (s, z, /ʃ/, /ʒ/), all pronounced with a characteristic hissing sound
2. having a hissing sound: the sibilant sound of wind among the leaves.
(Phonetics & Phonology) a sibilant consonant
[C17: from Latin sībilāre to hiss, of imitative origin; compare Greek sizein to hiss]
ˈsibilance, ˈsibilancy n
ˈsibilantly adv


(ˈsɪb ə lənt)

1. hissing.
2. of or pertaining to a consonant sound in which air is channeled through a narrow groove along the center of the tongue, producing a hissing sound.
3. a sibilant consonant sound, as (s), (z), (sh), or (zh).
[1660–70; < Latin sībilant-, s. of sībilāns, present participle of sībilāre to hiss, derivative of sībilus a hissing, whistling; see -ant]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.sibilant - a consonant characterized by a hissing sound (like s or sh)
fricative, fricative consonant, spirant - a continuant consonant produced by breath moving against a narrowing of the vocal tract
Adj.1.sibilant - of speech sounds produced by forcing air through a constricted passage (as `f', `s', `z', or `th' in both `thin' and `then')
soft - (of speech sounds); produced with the back of the tongue raised toward the hard palate; characterized by a hissing or hushing sound (as `s' and `sh')


A. ADJsibilante
B. Nsibilante f


[ˈsɪbɪlənt] adjsibilant(e)


adjzischend; hissscharf; sibilant sound (Phon) → Zischlaut m
n (Phon) → Zischlaut m


1. adjsibilante
2. nsibilante f
References in classic literature ?
There was a low, sibilant rise and fall--the breathing of the creature.
Again in the utter silence I heard that thin, sibilant note which spoke of intense suppressed excitement.
Sometimes this gurgle became sibilant, almost a whistle.
Anne was sitting at her open window, for the time forgetful of the woes of examinations and the cares of the world, as she drank in the beauty of the summer dusk, sweet-scented with flower breaths from the garden below and sibilant and rustling from the stir of poplars.
When anybody entered the room, she uttered a shshshsh so sibilant and ominous, that it frightened the poor old lady in her bed, from which she could not look without seeing Mrs.
Gasbarre's Wolf was sibilant and "oh my, what a package and he knows it" sexy--but scary-but sexy--oh, you know what I mean (he says, fanning himself)
5-litre unit being a little sibilant in the upper reaches of the rev range.
Thus, in the written records of Soikkola dialect, obstruents, strengthened due to the aforementioned conditions, have in most cases been marked as fortis consonants (as a fortis stop or voiceless sibilant), a half-long consonant or (less frequently) a short geminate that alternate within the paradigm either with a (partly) voiced lenis stop or (partly) voiced sibilant, e.
Opener Tempest has a sibilant, auto-tuned chorus of otherworldly voices that seem to be performing an aural cuddle to comfort Taylor's heartbreaking falsetto.
Opener Tempest has a sibilant, autotuned chorus of otherworldly voices.
As sibilant sounds do not feature in Noongar language phonetics, 'King George Sound' becomes King Joor Town.
With his unsmiling, bearish demeanor, and incessant sibilant delivery, Zizek is something of a creature himself.