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The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. 2000.
 
Pronunciation Key
 
A list of the pronunciation symbols used in this Dictionary is given below in the column headed AHD. The column headed EXAMPLES contains words chosen to illustrate how the AHD symbols are pronounced. The letters that correspond in sound to the AHD symbols are shown in boldface. Although similar, the AHD and IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) symbols are not precisely the same because they were conceived for different purposes.
 
EXAMPLES AHD   EXAMPLES AHD
pat   boot
pay   out ou
care r   pop p
father   roar r
bib b   sauce s
church ch   ship, dish sh
deed, milled d   tight, stopped t
pet   thin th
bee   this th
fife, phase, rough f   cut
gag g   urge, term, firm, word, heard r
hat h   valve v
which hw   with w
pit   yes y
pie, by   zebra, xylem z
pier r   vision, pleasure, garage zh
judge j   about, item, edible, gallop, circus
kick, cat, pique k   butter r
lid, needle 1 l(ndl)      
mum m      
no, sudden1 n(sdn)      
thing ng      
pot   FOREIGN AHD
toe   French feu, German schn
French oeuf, German zwlf
œ
caught, paw, for, horrid, hoarse 2   French tu, German ber
noise oi   German ich, German ach, Scottish loch
took   French bon (b) 3

Note 1. In English the consonants l and n often constitute complete syllables by themselves. [ back ]

Note 2. Regional pronunciations of -or- vary.In pairs such as for, four; horse, hoarse; and morning, mourning, the vowel varies between () and ().In this Dictionary these vowels are represented as follows: for (fr), four (fr, fr); horse (hrs), hoarse (hrs, hrs); and morning (mrning), mourning (mrning, mr-).Other words for which both forms are shown include more, glory, and borne.A similar variant occurs in words such as coral, forest, and horrid, where the pronunciation of o before r varies between () and ().In these words the (r) pronunciation is given first: forest (frist, fr-). [ back ]

Note 3. The Dictionary uses to reflect that the preceding vowel is nasalized. In French four nasalized vowels occur, as in the phrase un bon vin blanc: AHD b v bl) [ back ]
 
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by the Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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