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.

80 Comments

  1. Bam -  October 9, 2016 - 5:19 am

    There is a vowel in every single English word. dr. and mrs. are abbreviations for doctor and missus. Y is a vowel if there isn’t any other vowels in the same word. so dry and fly have vowels

    Reply
    • Libby -  October 20, 2016 - 9:53 pm

      ‘Lynx” is an animal. It includes no vowels however.

      Reply
      • Priya -  November 4, 2016 - 11:04 am

        However Y. is known as semi vowel

        Reply
      • Desiree -  November 4, 2016 - 8:57 pm

        Actually Lynx does because y is a vowel.

        Reply
    • Olivia -  October 23, 2016 - 10:11 pm

      Did anyone else notice that the article never actually confirms weather or not there is any worlds without a vowel or semivowel it just states that a e i o u y and w are the vowels semivowels or making up for vowels so this arrival is useless unless you want to start a debate

      Reply
      • Olivia -  October 23, 2016 - 10:12 pm

        Article*

        Reply
        • Bidur -  November 27, 2016 - 2:38 am

          Rhythm is a word …

          Reply
    • Ashok Sankaran -  November 30, 2016 - 2:43 am

      fly, fry, cry,gym, shy, sky,spy, try,why, hymn, lynx, myth, crypt, flyby, gypsy,rhythm, by, my

      Reply
      • EvilOwl -  December 3, 2016 - 7:15 pm

        Those don’t actually count because y is still counted as a vowel…

        Reply
  2. murli -  October 7, 2016 - 2:10 am

    BY
    BYRL
    BYRLS
    BYS
    CRY
    CRYPT
    CRYPTS
    CYST
    CYSTS
    DRY
    DRYLY
    DRYS
    FLY
    FLYBY
    FLYBYS
    FLYSCH
    FRY
    GHYLL
    GHYLLS
    GLYCYL
    GLYCYLS
    GLYPH
    GLYPHS
    GYM
    GYMS
    GYP
    GYPS
    GYPSY
    HYMN
    HYMNS
    HYP
    HYPS
    LYMPH
    LYMPHS
    LYNCH
    LYNX
    MY
    MYRRH
    MYRRHS
    MYTH
    MYTHS
    MYTHY
    NYMPH
    NYMPHS
    PLY
    PRY
    PSYCH
    PSYCHS
    PYGMY
    PYX
    RHYTHM
    RHYTHMS
    RYND
    RYNDS
    SCRY
    SHY
    SHYLY
    SKY
    SLY
    SLYLY
    SPRY
    SPRYLY
    SPY
    STY
    STYMY
    SYLPHS
    SYLPHY
    SYN
    SYNC
    SYNCH
    SYNCHS
    SYNCS
    SYNTH
    SYNTHS
    SYPH
    SYPHS
    SYZYGY
    THY
    THYMY
    TRY
    TRYST
    TRYSTS
    TYPP
    TYPPS
    TYPY
    WHY
    WHYS
    WRY
    WRYLY
    WYCH
    WYN
    WYND
    WYNDS
    WYNN
    WYNNS
    WYNS
    XYLYL
    XYLYLS
    XYST
    XYSTS

    Reply
    • Bam -  October 9, 2016 - 5:15 am

      in some words, Y is in fact counted as a vowel.

      Reply
    • Prabha -  October 13, 2016 - 6:50 am

      Some of the words don’t make sense

      Reply
    • Najj -  October 30, 2016 - 4:49 am

      Most of the words are abbreviations and y is sometimes counted as vowel

      Reply
    • abdul haq -  November 27, 2016 - 9:09 am

      Y. Is the (semi vowel)
      Bcz the sound of Y. Is vowel

      Reply
  3. Shehnaz -  October 2, 2016 - 4:58 am

    Sorry For Mistakes Friend

    Reply
  4. Shehnaz -  October 2, 2016 - 4:57 am

    That Is “Thy”which arbhaic Your.Please Read My Last Two Comments And Also The New One.Okay.And Also As A Friend Please Give Me Some Knowledge Through Comments.

    Reply
  5. Shehnaz -  October 2, 2016 - 4:51 am

    Hey Also Know Ond More.Would You Like To See.I Will Show You In My Next Comment.OK.Please Don’t Mind

    Reply
  6. Shehnaz -  October 2, 2016 - 4:48 am

    Hey You Are Totaly Wrong A,E,I,O,U are Vowels And Y,W Are Semivowels.Some Words Like Gypsy,try,my,rhythm,symphysy,shy,sly,cwn,cwrth,cry,sky,fly,phyhm Are The Word That You Tell that It Does Not Have Vowels.I Add New Word “Sylph” That Does Not Have Vowel

    Reply
  7. Gowtham -  September 27, 2016 - 3:13 am

    Gypsy is a word i guess??

    Reply
    • Prabha -  October 13, 2016 - 6:51 am

      No, it is not a word

      Reply
      • cisco -  November 15, 2016 - 2:47 am

        BMW

        Reply
    • Boogy Booo -  October 20, 2016 - 8:00 pm

      It is.

      Reply
  8. Holly -  September 5, 2016 - 12:18 am

    Even though ‘Y’ can be used as a substitute , words like my, try and rhythm can be words without a vowel

    Reply
  9. stephan -  August 28, 2016 - 6:08 pm

    my

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

    RHYTHM

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

    symphysy

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

    Who will give the right answer

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

    Rythm

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

      Y can sometimes be a vowel.

      Reply
  14. 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
  15. Danny -  June 20, 2016 - 8:56 pm

    Sly?

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

      Y can sometimes be a vowel.

      Reply
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
      • A person -  September 28, 2016 - 2:22 pm

        It’s short for Missus

        Reply
  19. 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
      • Reid -  November 28, 2016 - 4:24 pm

        In the word rhythm, y is not being used as a vowel, such as in why and sky, because it is not making the I sound. so even though Y does SOMETIMES! In rhythm it is not.

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

    Sky

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

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

    Reply
  22. 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
        • Leah -  September 9, 2016 - 12:19 pm

          I am pretty sure “W” is NOT a vowel. That only depends if you went to 3rd grade and learned ABOUT vowels.

          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
  23. 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
  24. 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
          • Costas -  September 5, 2016 - 4:44 pm

            Actually, “pm” is an abbreviation for Post Meridiam. Take a Latin class.

        • 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

        • qwertyuiop -  November 29, 2016 - 6:56 am

          you’re wrong. it’s YOU’RE, not YOUR.

          Reply

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