Meaning of rhotic in English:


Pronunciation /ˈrəʊtɪk/


  • Relating to or denoting a dialect or variety of English (e.g. in most of the US and south-western England) in which r is pronounced before a consonant (as in hard) and at the ends of words (as in far)

    ‘rhotic and non-rhotic speakers’
    • ‘With the exception of the Southern states, eastern New England, and New York City, pronunciation is rhotic, postvocalic /r/ being pronounced in such words as part, four, motor.’
    • ‘The syllable that Ben has spelled ‘er’ would be pronounced as an r-colored vowel - a rhotic schwa - which is essentially just a vocalic form of the syllable-final [r] in ‘care’.’
    • ‘This is a rhotic central vowel.’
    • ‘Both in fact were non-rhotic, while the majority of Americans speak with rhotic accents.’
    • ‘Nor, on a quick skim, are the rest of the book's pirates notably rhotic.’


1960s from Greek rhot-, stem of rho (see rho) + -ic.