Definition of plosive in English:


Pronunciation /ˈplōziv/ /ˈploʊzɪv/

Translate plosive into Spanish


  • Denoting a consonant that is produced by stopping the airflow using the lips, teeth, or palate, followed by a sudden release of air.

    ‘He is not yet comfortable in its ever so Russian skin, that demands a concrete command of affective articulation, and which duplicates, in compositional categories, the fruity vowels and plosive consonants of Russian speech.’
    • ‘Again, in French, the letter d generally represents the voiced alveolar plosive sound /d/ in dans, but has no phonetic value in, for example, canard (where the d is said to be ‘silent’).’


  • A plosive speech sound. The basic plosives in English are t, k, and p (voiceless) and d, g, and b (voiced).

    ‘He kept separate the constituents of consonantal clusters, relishing sibilants and fricatives as much as plosives and liquids, and studied the duration of pauses as carefully as the duration of syllables.’
    • ‘Rhymes are reduced to a collection of plosives, vowels and half formed syllables where the power of the original delivery is left intact but the sense is all but removed; the rap becomes just another component of the music.’
    • ‘All the sounds were from the throat and vocal chords or sharp plosives from the lips.’
    • ‘This is an arduous task: transcribing laughter, and words which are punctuated by breathy plosives, is extremely difficult; but there are analytic dividends.’
    • ‘The microphone's worst enemy is wind and plosives (the popping letters, such as ‘p’) from close speaking.’


Late 19th century shortening of explosive.