Meaning of dissimilate in English:


Pronunciation /dɪˈsɪmɪleɪt/


[with object]
  • 1Linguistics
    Change (a sound or sounds in a word) to another when the word originally had identical sounds near each other (e.g. in taper, which derives from papyrus, the p is dissimilated to t).

    ‘In pilgrim, from Latin peregrinus, the first r is dissimilated to l.’
    • ‘If the stem ends in l, the ending -na is dissimilated to -da:’
    1. 1.1no object (of a sound) undergo the process of dissimilation.
      ‘the first ‘r’ dissimilates to ‘l’’
      • ‘In roots with two aspirated stops, the first dissimilates to an unaspirate stop.’
      • ‘Robert Blust in this journal in 1996 drew attention to a process in a number of widely separated Oceanic languages in which the first a of an aCa sequence dissimilates to a higher vowel.’


Mid 19th century from dis- (expressing reversal) + Latin similis ‘like, similar’, on the pattern of assimilate.