A syllable can be made up of just a vowel — "a" can be a syllable — or a vowel and one or more consonants — "skip" is one syllable, but three sounds, or phonemes: sk-i-p.

When you're figuring out how many syllables a word has, you have to listen to how it's pronounced, not look at the spelling. Household is two syllables — which you'll hear when you say the word — even though it's got four vowels. Elephant is three syllables, and hippopotamus is five. You can also use syllable for the tiniest bits of language: "I loved every syllable of your speech," or "Please don't repeat a syllable of what I told you."

Definitions of syllable

n a unit of spoken language larger than a phoneme

“the word `pocket' has two syllables
show 12 types...
hide 12 types...
the last syllable in a word
penult, penultima, penultimate
the next to last syllable in a word
antepenult, antepenultima, antepenultimate
the 3rd syllable of a word counting back from the end
the syllable added in a reduplicated word form
solfa syllable
one of the names for notes of a musical scale in solmization
do, doh, ut
the syllable naming the first (tonic) note of any major scale in solmization
ray, re
the syllable naming the second (supertonic) note of any major scale in solmization
the syllable naming the third (mediant) note of any major scale in solmization
the syllable naming the fourth (subdominant) note of the diatonic scale in solmization
so, soh, sol
the syllable naming the fifth (dominant) note of any musical scale in solmization
la, lah
the syllable naming the sixth (submediant) note of a major or minor scale in solmization
si, te, ti
the syllable naming the seventh (subtonic) note of any musical scale in solmization
Type of:
language unit, linguistic unit
one of the natural units into which linguistic messages can be analyzed

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.