Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.


A diphthong is a single-syllable vowel sound in which the beginning of the sound is different from the end sound—that is, the sound glides from one vowel sound to another. For this reason, diphthongs are often referred to as gliding vowels.
There are eight vowel sounds in American English that are generally agreed upon as being diphthongs.
Continue reading...
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the combination of two vowels—a syllabic and a nonsyllabic vowel—in one syllable, for example, the French [oi]. Two types of diphthongs may be distinguished: the rising diphthong, in which the second vowel is the syllable-building element, for example, the French [ie] and [ui] and the falling diphthong, in which the first vowel is the syllable-building element, for example, the English [ai] and [au].

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
* Spanish interjections "!ey!", "!ay!", "!au!" could be used to practice with problems with English diphthongs /ei/, /ai/, /a[??]/
Twenty English-speaking participants (potentially more by the time the paper is presented) divided into three proficiency levels completed a syllabification task for a set of Spanish words, half cognates and half non-cognates, the purpose being to collect their intuitions about vocalic sequences that native speakers judge as diphthongs. Participants' production was also recorded and analyzed acoustically for diphthong duration and formant contours of vocalic transitions.
The test results showed that the success rate of voice input was over 98%, and the accuracy rate of spoken voices of monophthong words, diphthong words and polysyllabic words was 97.15%, 94.96% and 93.62% respectively, suggesting that the system could accurately input and score English learners ' spoken English, and assist English pronunciation.
No matter what the note duration is, the first syllable of "Euridice" should always be sung as a falling diphthong in Italian, not a rising one.
[Therefore, theory dictates that this should be scanned in the following manner: necto spondee, tatamen dactyl, illepri dactyl, orpraee dactyl, with the diphthong shortened by the following vowel, unteca rina dactyl and spondee, which end the line.
In all ISP variant studied there were only three diphthong namely; /ay/.
The V positions in the tables below may be filled either by singleton short vowels or a member of a diphthong that fits a V.(C)V profile, i.e., the second member in V1 position, or the first in V2 position.
Stressing of the diphthong highly influence visualization of the speech since stressed syllable is more expressive then others.
A diphthong is defined as a sound which consists of `a movement of glide from one vowel to another' (Roach, 2000).
A tendency to shorten diphthongs and to leave out the second element in a diphthong e.g.