1. Of or relating to phonetics.
2. Representing the sounds of speech with a set of distinct symbols, each designating a single sound: phonetic spelling.
3. Of, relating to, or being features of pronunciation that are not phonemically distinctive in a language, as aspiration of consonants or vowel length in English.
[New Latin phōnēticus, representing speech sounds, from Greek phōnētikos, vocal, from phōnētos, to be spoken, from phōnein, to produce a sound, from phōnē, sound, voice; see bhā-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.