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.
|fife, phase, rough||f|
|kick, cat, pique||k|
|lid, needle*||l (nēd'l)|
|no, sudden*||n (sŭd'n)|
|caught, paw, for, horrid, hoarse**||ô|
|urge, term, firm, word, heard||ûr|
|vision, pleasure, garage||zh|
|about, item, edible, gallop, circus||ə|
|French feu, German schön
French oeuf, German zwölf
|French tu, German über||ü|
|German ich, German ach, Scottish loch||KH|
|French bon (bôɴ)***||ɴ|
* In English the consonants l and n often constitute complete syllables by themselves.
** Regional pronunciations of -or- vary. In pairs such as for, four; horse, hoarse; and morning, mourning, the vowel varies between (ô) and (ō). In this Dictionary these vowels are represented as follows: for (fôr), four (fôr, fōr); horse (hôrs), hoarse (hôrs, hōrs); and morning (môr'ning), mourning (môr'ning, mōr'-). 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 (ô) and (ŏ). In these words the (ôr) pronunciation is given first: forest (fôr'ist, fŏr'-).
*** The Dictionary uses ɴ to reflect that the preceding vowel is nasalized. In French four nasalized vowels occur, as in the phrase un bon vin blanc: AHD (ɶɴ bôɴ vāɴ bläɴ)