glide

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glide / glīd/ • v. 1. [intr.] move with a smooth continuous motion, typically with little noise: a few gondolas glided past. ∎  [tr.] cause to move with a smooth continuous motion. 2. [intr.] make an unpowered flight, either in a glider or in an aircraft with engine failure. ∎  (of a bird) fly through the air with very little movement of the wings. • n. [in sing.] 1. a smooth continuous movement. ∎  an unpowered maneuver in an aircraft. ∎  a flight in a glider or unpowered aircraft. ∎  a smooth continuous step in ballroom dancing. 2. Phonet. a sound produced as the vocal organs move toward or away from articulation of a vowel or consonant, for example / y/ in mute / myoōt/ .

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GLIDE. In PHONETICS, such APPROXIMANT sounds as the /w/ of wet and the /j/ of yet, which have no steady state even when pronounced in isolation. Whereas it is easy to say [s] and [m] and prolong them without a following VOWEL, [j, w] require a following vowel to glide into, such as schwa [wə, jə]. If they are artificially prolonged, they become vowels similar to the [uː] of move and the [iː] of leave respectively. The approximant r can also be regarded as a glide. Although they are vocalic, glides behave in a SYLLABLE as though they are CONSONANTS: the glides in yak, wake, rake belong to the syllable margin as do the consonants in bake, sake, take. In view of their intermediate status, glides are sometimes known as semi-vowels, sometimes as semi-consonants. See R-SOUNDS, SPEECH.

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glide pass easily or smoothly. OE. str. vb. glīdan = OS. glīdan (Du. glijden), OHG. glītan (G. gleiten) :- WGmc. *ʒlīðan, of which no cogns. are known.