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Related to vowel: consonant
A vowel is a letter that represents a speech sound made with one’s airway (the mouth and vocal chords) open and without touching one’s tongue to the teeth, lips, or the roof of the mouth. It is contrasted with consonants, which are formed by obstructing one’s airway in some way so as to create a harder, more defined speech sound. Together, vowels and consonants form syllables in speech.
There are five letters that are considered to be true vowels: A, E, I, O, and U.
A voiced "open sound," in which the quality of the sound is determined by its placement in the mouth.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.