Dictionary.com

Are there any English words that have no vowels?

The answer to this depends what you mean by “vowel” and “word.” There are two things we mean by the word “vowel”: a speech sound made with the vocal tract open or a letter of the alphabet standing for a spoken vowel. “Cwm” and “crwth” do not contain the letters a, e, i, o, u, or y, the usual vowels (that is, the usual symbols that stand for vowel sounds) in English. But in those words the letter w simply serves instead, standing for the same sound that oo stands for in the words “boom” and “booth.” “Dr.,” “nth” (as in “to the nth degree”), and “TV” also do not contain any vowel symbols, but they, like “cwm” and “crwth,” do contain vowel sounds. “Shh,” “psst,” and “mm-hmm” do not have vowels, either vowel symbols or vowel sounds. There is some controversy whether they are in fact “words,” however. But if a word is “the smallest unit of grammar that can stand alone as a complete utterance, separated by spaces in written language and potentially by pauses in speech,” then those do qualify. “Psst,” though, is the only one that appears in the Oxford English Dictionary.

52 Comments

  1. stephan -  August 28, 2016 - 6:08 pm

    my

    Reply
  2. pradyumna choudhury -  August 18, 2016 - 12:31 pm

    RHYTHM

    Reply
  3. lee m -  August 1, 2016 - 2:54 am

    symphysy

    Reply
  4. adarsh -  July 23, 2016 - 1:53 am

    Who will give the right answer

    Reply
  5. Sean -  July 16, 2016 - 6:58 pm

    Rythm

    Reply
    • Amber -  August 14, 2016 - 3:29 pm

      Y can sometimes be a vowel.

      Reply
  6. Nathan -  June 28, 2016 - 7:38 pm

    There are words without vowel /sounds/, per se- “nurse” is a word and, although it is spelled with vowels, it isn’t pronounced with vowels: the ‘ur’ sound is called a “syllabic r sound” apparently, and is not a vowel.

    In the end, it’s really a matter of “what’s a vowel” and “what do you mean by ‘without’”. If by without you mean /written/ without vowels, there aren’t any unambiguous (that is, ones nobody will object to) words (assuming we allow ‘y’ to be a vowel in certain contexts- consider it a vowel sometimes and not other times, rather than just “semi-vowel”). If we mean pronounced without a vowel sound, there certainly are words like that- and this is the one I look for; it doesn’t matter how it’s written, only how it’s pronounced. Of course, when provided an example of such a word, somebody will always say that it doesn’t count as a word or that there really is a vowel there.

    It really boils down to the fact that phonetics isn’t /really/ a science, at least in the sense that physics is, and that if you can string some sounds together and someone knows what you mean, it’s a word.

    Reply
  7. Danny -  June 20, 2016 - 8:56 pm

    Sly?

    Reply
    • Amber -  August 14, 2016 - 3:29 pm

      Y can sometimes be a vowel.

      Reply
  8. Throwing chairs -  June 19, 2016 - 8:46 am

    Maybe you’re the person who needs to go to school because I’m seriously doubting whether you went to kindergarten. All words have vowels or vowel sounds in them.

    Reply
  9. Pansycake -  June 7, 2016 - 7:30 pm

    Umm, I’m pretty sure ‘wrang’, ‘giys’ and ‘scool’ are not words.
    And you must be ‘wrang’ because A is definitely a vowel

    Reply
  10. Chris -  June 7, 2016 - 2:20 pm

    Dr. And TV are abbreviations, not actual words. The words themselves have plenty of vowels: doctor and television or alternately, teevee.
    Cwm and Cwrth are archaic Welsh words and shouldn’t even be considered in this topic. The only real word without vowels in this whole thing is Nth.

    Reply
    • Ed -  August 24, 2016 - 2:35 pm

      Ah, but what is Mrs. short for?

      Reply
  11. sandeep -  June 6, 2016 - 4:25 am

    Cry sky fly

    Reply
    • Sofi -  June 11, 2016 - 10:24 am

      The letter why is a vowel

      Reply
      • sasikala -  June 16, 2016 - 1:44 am

        y is not a pure vowel. it is a semi vowel. there are abbreviations like Dr., Mr., and some expressions likehmm…shhhh….so we can conclude no word is formed without vowel. thatswhy we call vowels are the life of the words.

        Reply
        • Nathan -  June 28, 2016 - 7:40 pm

          I think you’re mistaken- the letter ‘y’ in general can be said to be a “semi-vowel”, but that doesn’t mean it’s never a vowel nor a consonant- it’s a “semi-vowel” in that it’s a vowel in some contexts and a consonant in others. In cry/sky/fly, it’s a vowel, and in you/yonder/yognau(gh)t, it’s a consonant.

          Reply
  12. mohan -  June 3, 2016 - 7:23 pm

    Sky

    Reply
  13. NOO -  May 26, 2016 - 4:48 pm

    Y is *sometimes* a vowel. I am actually in college studying to be a English teacher.

    Reply
  14. Nae Nae -  May 2, 2016 - 11:20 pm

    Guys y ain’t a vowel it’s only a,e,I,o,u sorry to break it to you but ur teachers are leirs

    Reply
    • DeltaX -  May 3, 2016 - 5:51 pm

      Y is a vowel in some words, such as phylum. sorry to break it to you but you were lied to.

      Reply
    • Churr -  May 10, 2016 - 5:49 pm

      Well your teacher must not of taught you English very well

      Reply
    • Grifbd -  May 15, 2016 - 12:59 pm

      Actually. Y is a vowel for certain words. So, In total, there is “a, e, i, o, u, and *sometimes* y.”

      Reply
      • Habdab -  May 20, 2016 - 8:08 am

        Also w is a vowel

        Reply
        • alaris -  May 22, 2016 - 12:23 am

          wait, how is w a vowel?
          \

          Reply
          • Xanman -  June 23, 2016 - 5:37 pm

            Haven’t you read the whole article? W is sometimes the “oo” sound

        • Emma -  May 22, 2016 - 11:56 am

          Is w a vowel? I don’t think it is? But seriously… Y IS SOMETIMES CONSIDERED A VOWEL! GEEZ! Like in the word twenty or baby!

          Reply
      • Holly -  May 22, 2016 - 12:21 am

        The letter y isn’t a vowel, it’s a consonant that can make a vowel sound. I did read somewhere that it is sometimes called semivowel or something but it isn’t a VOWEL. It’s not a vowel for any words, it just makes a vowel sound.

        Reply
        • Shawn Hasley -  June 6, 2016 - 4:48 am

          Y is a vowel like in why.

          Reply
        • Martin -  June 19, 2016 - 10:47 am

          Y is not a vowel. Y is a letter. So are a e i o u w. All of which can represent a vowel.

          Reply
    • sn -  May 20, 2016 - 3:36 pm

      Sorry to break it to you, but “ain’t” and “leirs” are not words.
      Vowels are a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y.

      When y makes the i sound, it is considered a vowel.
      For example, sky, dye, and cry.

      Reply
      • Nunya -  June 3, 2016 - 10:09 am

        Yeah so Cry about it. :)

        Reply
    • deez nuts -  May 31, 2016 - 10:50 am

      Before you start correcting teachers learn how to spell.

      Reply
    • WRONG NAE NAE -  June 1, 2016 - 12:02 am

      no YOU are the lier

      Reply
      • Max -  July 29, 2016 - 4:54 pm

        liar*

        Reply
  15. Caoimhe h -  April 25, 2016 - 8:29 am

    phyhm

    Reply
    • Micah -  April 29, 2016 - 10:36 am

      Uh, no, in this word, y is a vowel

      Reply
    • Max -  July 29, 2016 - 4:56 pm

      first y is a semivowel in this word so it is debatable and phyhm isn’t a word is is an acronym.

      Reply
  16. Anirudh -  April 17, 2016 - 8:53 am

    There are a lot. some are cry, try, dry, fry, rhythm, cyst etc.

    Reply
    • NO -  April 21, 2016 - 5:04 pm

      Sorry, but you’re wrong… The vowels are as followed: A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y.

      Y counts as a vowel when used in words, like your examples.

      Reply
      • CRAIG -  April 23, 2016 - 2:53 am

        W also is considered a vowel in some British dialects.

        Reply
        • Whatever -  June 16, 2016 - 6:00 am

          We are talking about English words and vowel, not British. So, that doesn’t count, learn what language we’re using to know whether adding british ones would make sense.

          Reply
    • Adi -  April 22, 2016 - 8:31 am

      sky too

      Reply
      • Your Wrong -  April 28, 2016 - 7:06 pm

        Sorry to let you down, but your wrong. I’m only 10 years old, and I know this. The “y” in sky serves as a vowel for it comes at the end of the word.

        Reply
        • Hugh Jorgen -  April 30, 2016 - 12:31 pm

          You’re wrong.

          Reply
        • Rext -  May 1, 2016 - 4:29 pm

          Not the end of the word, “Y” becomes a vowel if it is pronounced like the letter “i” such as “sky” or “lying” lying has the vowels “i” and “Y”

          Reply
        • Rext -  May 1, 2016 - 4:29 pm

          And I Am 14

          Reply
          • Murtuza ali -  May 4, 2016 - 5:42 am

            Gypsy! !!

        • sally -  May 5, 2016 - 12:48 pm

          you’re* sweetie

          Reply
          • Hunter Baskets -  May 31, 2016 - 7:03 am

            A is not a vowel you’re all wrang you giys need to go to scool

          • Xanman -  June 23, 2016 - 5:49 pm

            Hunter, you are kind of right actually! If you say the letters are vowels, then no, A isn’t a vowel, only E is, because A is pronounced eI while E is pronounced i

          • Samuel -  July 29, 2016 - 7:06 pm

            Hunter you need to go to school and need to learn your vowels and how to spell

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