Hypertext Webster Gateway: "consonant"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Open \O"pen\, a. [AS. open; akin to D. open, OS. opan, G. offan,
Icel. opinn, Sw. ["o]ppen, Dan. aaben, and perh. to E. up.
Cf. {Up}, and {Ope}.]
1. Free of access; not shut up; not closed; affording
unobstructed ingress or egress; not impeding or preventing
passage; not locked up or covered over; -- applied to
passageways; as, an open door, window, road, etc.; also,
to inclosed structures or objects; as, open houses, boxes,
baskets, bottles, etc.; also, to means of communication or
approach by water or land; as, an open harbor or

Through the gate, Wide open and unquarded, Satan
passed. --Milton

Note: Also, figuratively, used of the ways of communication
of the mind, as by the senses; ready to hear, see,
etc.; as, to keep one's eyes and ears open.

His ears are open unto their cry. --Ps. xxxiv.

2. Free to be used, enjoyed, visited, or the like; not
private; public; unrestricted in use; as, an open library,
museum, court, or other assembly; liable to the approach,
trespass, or attack of any one; unprotected; exposed.

If Demetrius . . . have a matter against any man,
the law is open and there are deputies. --Acts xix.

The service that I truly did his life, Hath left me
open to all injuries. --Shak.

3. Free or cleared of obstruction to progress or to view;
accessible; as, an open tract; the open sea.

4. Not drawn together, closed, or contracted; extended;
expanded; as, an open hand; open arms; an open flower; an
open prospect.

Each, with open arms, embraced her chosen knight.

5. Hence:
(a) Without reserve or false pretense; sincere;
characterized by sincerity; unfeigned; frank; also,
generous; liberal; bounteous; -- applied to personal
appearance, or character, and to the expression of
thought and feeling, etc.

With aspect open, shall erect his head. --Pope.

The Moor is of a free and open nature. --Shak.

The French are always open, familiar, and
talkative. --Addison.
(b) Not concealed or secret; not hidden or disguised;
exposed to view or to knowledge; revealed; apparent;
as, open schemes or plans; open shame or guilt.

His thefts are too open. --Shak.

That I may find him, and with secret gaze Or
open admiration him behold. --Milton.

6. Not of a quality to prevent communication, as by closing
water ways, blocking roads, etc.; hence, not frosty or
inclement; mild; -- used of the weather or the climate;
as, an open season; an open winter. --Bacon.

7. Not settled or adjusted; not decided or determined; not
closed or withdrawn from consideration; as, an open
account; an open question; to keep an offer or opportunity

8. Free; disengaged; unappropriated; as, to keep a day open
for any purpose; to be open for an engagement.

9. (Phon.)
(a) Uttered with a relatively wide opening of the
articulating organs; -- said of vowels; as, the ["a]n
f["a]r is open as compared with the [=a] in s[=a]y.
(b) Uttered, as a consonant, with the oral passage simply
narrowed without closure, as in uttering s.

10. (Mus.)
(a) Not closed or stopped with the finger; -- said of the
string of an instrument, as of a violin, when it is
allowed to vibrate throughout its whole length.
(b) Produced by an open string; as, an open tone.

{The open air}, the air out of doors.

{Open chain}. (Chem.) See {Closed chain}, under {Chain}.

{Open circuit} (Elec.), a conducting circuit which is
incomplete, or interrupted at some point; -- opposed to an
uninterrupted, or {closed circuit}.

{Open communion}, communion in the Lord's supper not
restricted to persons who have been baptized by immersion.
Cf. {Close communion}, under {Close}, a.

{Open diapason} (Mus.), a certain stop in an organ, in which
the pipes or tubes are formed like the mouthpiece of a
flageolet at the end where the wind enters, and are open
at the other end.

{Open flank} (Fort.), the part of the flank covered by the

{Open-front furnace} (Metal.), a blast furnace having a

{Open harmony} (Mus.), harmony the tones of which are widely
dispersed, or separated by wide intervals.

{Open hawse} (Naut.), a hawse in which the cables are
parallel or slightly divergent. Cf. {Foul hawse}, under

{Open hearth} (Metal.), the shallow hearth of a reverberatory

{Open-hearth furnace}, a reverberatory furnace; esp., a kind
of reverberatory furnace in which the fuel is gas, used in
manufacturing steel.

{Open-hearth process} (Steel Manuf.), a process by which
melted cast iron is converted into steel by the addition
of wrought iron, or iron ore and manganese, and by
exposure to heat in an open-hearth furnace; -- also called
the {Siemens-Martin process}, from the inventors.

{Open-hearth steel}, steel made by an open-hearth process; --
also called {Siemens-Martin steel}.

{Open newel}. (Arch.) See {Hollow newel}, under {Hollow}.

{Open pipe} (Mus.), a pipe open at the top. It has a pitch
about an octave higher than a closed pipe of the same

{Open-timber roof} (Arch.), a roof of which the
constructional parts, together with the under side of the
covering, or its lining, are treated ornamentally, and
left to form the ceiling of an apartment below, as in a
church, a public hall, and the like.

{Open vowel} or {consonant}. See {Open}, a., 9.

Note: Open is used in many compounds, most of which are
self-explaining; as, open-breasted, open-minded.

Syn: Unclosed; uncovered; unprotected; exposed; plain;
apparent; obvious; evident; public; unreserved; frank;
sincere; undissembling; artless. See {Candid}, and

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Consonant \Con"so*nant\, n. [L. consonans, -antis.]
An articulate sound which in utterance is usually combined
and sounded with an open sound called a vowel; a member of
the spoken alphabet other than a vowel; also, a letter or
character representing such a sound.

Note: Consonants are divided into various classes, as mutes,
spirants, sibilants, nasals, semivowels, etc. All of
them are sounds uttered through a closer position of
the organs than that of a vowel proper, although the
most open of them, as the semivowels and nasals, are
capable of being used as if vowels, and forming
syllables with other closer consonants, as in the
English feeble (-b'l), taken (-k'n). All the consonants
excepting the mutes may be indefinitely, prolonged in
utterance without the help of a vowel, and even the
mutes may be produced with an aspirate instead of a
vocal explosion. Vowels and consonants may be regarded
as the two poles in the scale of sounds produced by
gradual approximation of the organ, of speech from the
most open to the closest positions, the vowel being
more open, the consonant closer; but there is a
territory between them where the sounds produced
partake of the qualities of both.

Note: ``A consonant is the result of audible friction,
squeezing, or stopping of the breath in some part of
the mouth (or occasionally of the throath.) The main
distinction between vowels and consonants is, that
while in the former the mouth configuration merely
modifies the vocalized breath, which is therefore an
essential element of the vowels, in consonants the
narrowing or stopping of the oral passage is the
foundation of the sound, and the state of the glottis
is something secondary.'' --H. Sweet.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Consonant \Con"so*nant\, a. [L. consonans, -antis; p. pr. of
consonare to sound at the same time, agree; con- + sonare to
sound: cf. F. consonnant. See {Sound} to make a noise.]
1. Having agreement; congruous; consistent; according; --
usually followed by with or to.

Each one pretends that his opinion . . . is
consonant to the words there used. --Bp.

That where much is given there shall be much
required is a thing consonant with natural equity.
--Dr. H. More.

2. Having like sounds.

Consonant words and syllables. --Howell.

3. (Mus.) harmonizing together; accordant; as, consonant
tones, consonant chords.

4. Of or pertaining to consonants; made up of, or containing
many, consonants.

No Russian whose dissonant consonant name Almost
shatters to fragments the trumpet of fame. --T.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

adj 1: involving or characterized by harmony [syn: {harmonic}, {harmonical},
{harmonized}, {harmonised}, {in harmony}]
2: in keeping; "salaries agreeable with current trends"; "plans
conformable with your wishes"; "expressed views concordant
with his background" [syn: {accordant}, {agreeable}, {conformable},
{in accord(p)}, {in agreement(p)}, {concordant}]
n 1: a speech sound that is not a vowel [ant: {vowel}]
2: a letter of the alphabet standing for a spoken consonant

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