From Latin spirans, present participle of spīrō (“I blow”). Compare inspire, expire, respiration, etc.
spirant (plural spirants)
- (linguistics, archaic) A fricative.
- 1888, Joseph Wright, An Old High German Primer:
- Spirant consonants are those in which the mouth passage is simply narrowed without any actual contact.
- 1954, J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix E:
- The raising of the stem indicated the opening of the consonant to a ‘spirant’ […]
- third-person plural present active indicative of spīrō