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A monophthong is a vowel whose quality remains constant throughout its pronunciation.


  • [i] in reed, fee, or east
(NB: monophthongs are becoming increasingly rare in many dialects of American English, so some speakers may not produce this vowel as a monophthong.)


From Greek mono-phthongos 'single-sound'.

Related terms

  • diphthong (a vowel whose quality changes once during its pronunciation)
  • triphthong (a vowel whose quality changes twice during its pronunciation)