From Anglo-Norman sillable, from Old French sillebe, from Latin syllaba, from Ancient Greek συλλαβή (sullabḗ), from συλλαμβάνω (sullambánō, “I gather together”), from συν- (sun-, “together”) + λαμβάνω (lambánō, “I take”).
syllable (plural syllables)
- (linguistics) A unit of human speech that is interpreted by the listener as a single sound, although syllables usually consist of one or more vowel sounds, either alone or combined with the sound of one or more consonants; a word consists of one or more syllables.
2007, Don DeLillo, Underworld: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Scribner Classics, ISBN 978-1-4165-9585-4, page 543:
- I wanted to look up velleity and quotidian and memorize the fuckers for all time, spell them, learn them, pronounce them syllable by syllable—vocalize, phonate, utter the sounds, say the words for all they're worth.
- The written representation of a given pronounced syllable.
- A small part of a sentence or discourse; anything concise or short; a particle.
- Before any syllable of the law of God was written.
- Who dare speak / One syllable against him?