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Vow"el (?), n. [F. voyelle, or an OF. form without y, L. vocalis (sc. littera), from vocalis sounding, from vox, vocis, a voice, sound. See Vocal.] (Phon.) A vocal, or sometimes a whispered, sound modified by resonance in the oral passage, the peculiar resonance in each case giving to each several vowel its distinctive character or quality as a sound of speech; -- distinguished from a consonant in that the latter, whether made with or without vocality, derives its character in every case from some kind of obstructive action by the mouth organs. Also, a letter or character which represents such a sound. See Guide to Pronunciation, §§ 5, 146-149.
&hand_; In the English language, the written vowels are a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes w and y. The spoken vowels are much more numerous.
Close vowel. See under Close, a. -- Vowel point. See under Point, n.
Vow"el, a. Of or pertaining to a vowel; vocal.