(redirected from obstruents)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.


Obstructing or closing natural openings or passages of the body.
1. An obstruent medicine or agent.
2. Linguistics A sound, such as a stop, fricative, or affricate, that is produced with complete blockage or at least partial constriction of the airflow through the nose or mouth.

[Latin obstruēns, obstruent-, present participle of obstruere, to obstruct; see obstruct.]


(ˈɒbstrʊənt) med
(Medicine) causing obstruction, esp of the intestinal tract
(Medicine) anything that causes obstruction
[C17: from Latin obstruere to obstruct]


(ˈɒb stru ənt)

1. (of a speech sound) characterized by stoppage or obstruction of the flow of air from the lungs.
2. an obstruent speech sound; a stop, fricative, or affricate. Compare resonant (def. 7).
[1660–70; < Latin obstruent-, s. of obstruēns, present participle of obstruere; see obstruct, -ent]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.obstruent - a consonant that is produced with a partial or complete blockage of the airflow from the lungs through the nose or mouth
consonant - a speech sound that is not a vowel
occlusive, plosive, plosive consonant, plosive speech sound, stop consonant, stop - a consonant produced by stopping the flow of air at some point and suddenly releasing it; "his stop consonants are too aspirated"
continuant, continuant consonant - consonant articulated by constricting (but not closing) the vocal tract
affricate, affricate consonant, affricative - a composite speech sound consisting of a stop and a fricative articulated at the same point (as `ch' in `chair' and `j' in `joy')
References in periodicals archive ?
Kohler, "Phonetic explanation in phonology: The feature fortis/lenis," Phonetica 41 (March 1984): 150-174; Michael Jessen, Phonetics and Phonology Of Tense And Lax Obstruents in German (Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1984); Gregory K.
bok/); (2) distinction between sonorants and what the author called articulated obstruents (ex: /m/ vs.
This includes a number of initials that are not found in Mandarin, the most notable of which are a set of initials that reflect Middle Chinese voiced obstruents.
The recurrence of final stress in verbs with final obstruents, for example: to boy'cott, to eli'cit, to in'terpret, to hi'jack, to soli'cit, (RP: to 'boycott, to e'licit, to in'terpret, to 'hijack)
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.
The timing of voicing in British English obstruents.
As for coronals, it seems that there is an effect of manner, because pairs of coronal obstruents and pairs of coronal sonorants have much lower O/E's than pairs with members from the two manner classes.
a scale which ranks the segment classes on the basis of sonority and it is as follows: 1) vowels, 2) liquids, 3) nasals, 4) obstruents.
Obstruents have been particularly difficult to measure and codify.
Elsewhere I have argued that there was a series of preglottalized stops in Proto-Germanic and that all obstruents were voiceless here in recent prehistoric times (e.
Phonemic restrueturing of voiced obstruents in Miami - Cuban Spanish".