phone

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phone1 / fōn/ • n. short for telephone. ∎  (phones) inf. headphones or earphones. • v. short for telephone. PHRASES: phone it in work or perform in a desultory fashion. phone2 • n. Phonet. a speech sound; the smallest discrete segment of sound in a stream of speech.

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PHONE, Also speech sound. In PHONETICS, an elementary spoken sound, the smallest segment of speech recognized by a listener as a complete vowel or consonant. Because all speakers sound slightly different, and any one speaker produces vowels and consonants differently on different occasions, the number of phones in a language is indefinitely large. They are grouped into a small number of PHONEMES or units of distinctive sound.

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phone2 (philol.) element of spoken language. XIX. — Gr. phōnḗ sound (see PHONETIC).

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phone1 abbrev. of TELEPHONE. XX.