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English spellings/Catalogs/S

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Use in English
Alphabetical word list
Retroalphabetical list  
Common misspellings  

This page lists pronunciations of English words that begin with S. To see a different letter navigate with the table above. The apostrophe is treated as the last letter of the alphabet, after Z.

For a pronunciation key, click on the blue "Catalogs" link below the article title.[e]


S *éss

sác biology = sáck coal

sáccharine sácə-

sáchet bag = sáshay walk

sácrament

sâcred -ríd or -rəd

sácrifîce

sacrifícial

sacrilegious -íjəss, from sácrilege, cf. relígious, which rhymes

sâcrum, sácrum

Sadhbh = Sîve

Sádr city = sádder sad

sagácity

Sagittãrius Sáj-

saguàro *səgwàro, *səwàro, *səhwàro

said say *séd, cf. pâid, lâid etc., sád unhappy

Sàìd Port, person = either Sàêed person or sîde lateral (Pŏrt Sàìd Egypt, second word stressed, cf. pŏrt sîde ship's left, first word stressed)

sâil = sâle

sâke for

sàkè drink

sâle sell = Sâle England = sâil boat

Sålford

Sålisbury *Sålzbry

sálivate

salîva

sálmon *sámmon; similarly, Sálmond rhymes with Hámmond

Sálomè

sálon BrE; AmE salón

sålt

salûte cf. solûtion

Salvadǒrean, Salvadǒrian

Samôa

Sámùel -myùl

sanctimônious

sánctuary

sándal rhymes with cándle

Sandinístas

Sándys = Sánds = sánds

sang-froid *sàng-fwà

sanitŏrium or sanatŏrium

San Josè (can be written with Spanish accent San José) *Sán Hô-zè

sáns

Sánskrit

sápphire stone = Sáfire person

Sàra usually

Sãrah usually

Sarándon

Saràwak

sàrcasm -zəm

sarcástic

Sàrgent = sergeant, etc., -j-

sàrky

sarsaparílla sásp- or sàsp-

Saskátchewan

sátellite *sáttalight

Sâtan

sâte

sátín

sátîre cf. sátyr

Sátürn or, BrE, -tən

sátyr *sátter

Sàùdì Arâbia *Sòwdy; AmE also Såudi

sàùerkràùt *sòurcròut

sàùna

sâviour BrE, AmE sâvior

sávoir-fãire *sávwàr-fãir

sávvy

såw see, wood, saying = BrE sŏre pain = BrE sŏar up; French speakers should beware a tendency to make it sound like

sáx saxophone = Sáchs person

saxóphonist

says *séz

*Sâyshells Seychélles

sáy-sô noun one word

scáffolding

scámp

scámpì *scámpy

scándal *scándle, rhyming with cándle

scàr

scárab

scãre

scãrce

scàrf neck = Scàrfe person

scàrlet colour = Scàrlett person

scâthing -dh-

scávenge, cf. avénge, revénge

sce- se-

scenàrio *sinàrio

scêne vista = sêen see, making minimal pairs with sîgn = sîne

scént smell = cént money = sént send

scéptic doubt BrE, pronounced the same as its AmE version sképtic; cf. séptic infected

schàdenfreude *shàdənfrŏyd(ə)

schédule BrE shé-, AmE ské-

Scheherazàde Sh-

schêma *skêemə

schemàta *skêem-àtə

schême *skêem

schérzo *skãirtso

schísm *skízm

schíst *shíst

schízoid *skítsoid

schizophrênia *skítsəfrêenia

schizophrénic *skítsəfrénnic

schnítzel shn-

schoôl *skoôl

schoôlboy, schoôlgirl, schoôlchildren, each one word

schoôner skoô-

schtùm sht-

schwà sh-

sciática sî-

scientífic sîən-

Scílly Isles = sílly foolish

scíssors - ss as z, *sízzers, cf. sízzler

scóne BrE, AmE scône, cf. góne, dòne, cône

scöreboard one word

Scŏrpio astrology, Scŏrpius astronomy

Scót = Scótt (a Scot is a person from Scotland, but not normally a person's name; Scott is a family name and a boy's name)

Scótland

Scóttish

*scóugh: scóff

scòur

scöurge

scráp

scrâpe

scrâped

scrápped

scrêam

scrêen

Scriábin BrE (closer to the Russian); AmE Scriàbin

scríbble

scrîbe

scrípt

scúll oar = skúll head

scúllery

scúttle

scŷthe sî-

sêa water = sêe vision

sêagúll BrE, AmE -əl *sêagle

sêal shut, animal

sêaling = cêiling floor

sêam stitch = sêem appear

Seâmus Heaney = Sèumas Milne *Shâmus

Seån person = Shåun = BrE shŏrn shear

Sëarle

sêat sit

SÈÀT car *sây át

Seáttle *Sêa-áttle, cf. beátify, both ê-á

Sebástian

Sebástopol, historical name of Sevastópol

secêde cf. procêed, precêde, succêed, supersêde

secónd BrE military

sécond other meanings

sêcrecy

sêcret

sécretary weak form *sécrətry, strong form *sécrətérry

sectãrian

sedán cf. Sudàn

sédentary cf. said, *séd

sèder

sêed plant = cêde yield

sêem appear = sêam coal, thread

sêen = scêne, making minimal pairs with sîgn = sîne

sêer *sêe-er

segregâtion

sèguè *sâygwây, or = Ségway

Sèine river = sâne insane, or *Sén, French version having a long é sound

seîsmic sîz-

seismólogist sîz-

sêize grab *sêez, *siêze = sêes see, cf. cêase stop, sîze big, síeve filter

sêizure *sêezhə(r)

sélf-hélp, -defénce, -évident, etc.

séll buy = céll prison, biology

séll-bŷ dâte (not 'sell buy date')

séllotape, cf. céllophane

sémaphore

sémblance cf. resemble

sêmen sperm = sêaman sailor = sêamen sailors

sémi one word where it is an abbreviated form of phrases like sémi-fînal and sémi-detáched, otherwise must be hyphenated to following word

Senegål

sénsor feel = cénsor censorship

Séntamu

séntence

Seôul Korea = sôle only, shoe = sôul spirit

séparate adjective, séparâte verb not -per-, cf. a in pãir, e in désperate

séparately

séptic infected cf. BrE scéptic = AmE sképtic doubt

sépulchre *sépulker

sêre = sêar (variants)

sërf peasant = sürf sea

sërge fabric = sürge increase

sergeant *sàrjent = Sergeant = Sàrgent persons = serjeant -at-àrms

sêrial TV = cêreal breakfast

sêries *sêríz

sêrious cf. Sýria, Sírius

sërmon church = Sürman John

sërve cf. sürvèy noun, *sërvây; survèy verb

sërvíce *sërvíss, cf. sürface, -físs, minimal pair, only one sound different

sesquipedâlian

sétback noun one word

sétt badger = sét non-badger

Sèumas Milne = Seâmus Heaney *Shâymus

Sevastópól

séver cut

sevêre tough

sévered sever

Sévern river BrE = séven number

sew thread = thus = sôw seed, cf. sòw pig

seŵer pipe

sewer sew = sôwer seed

séxìêst -ìyíst most

séxíst sexism

sextét

Seychélles *Sây shélls

Sêymour = sêe more

shâde

shádow

Shâkespêare cf. shâke and spêar

Shakespêarean, Shakespêarian

shâky

shallót

shâman

shâme

*Shâmus Seâmus

Shapìro

Sharapôva (in English, though the second syllable is stressed in Russian)

shàrd

shãre divide makes a minimal pair with chãir seat

shãreholder one word

Sharìa

Sháron girl's name

Sharón Ariel BrE; AmE Sharôn

Shâvian Bernard Shaw

Shåw

shêar cut = shêer absolute

shéd noun and verb

*shêek chìc

*shédule schédule

shèikh Arabia: kh sound, or (may be spelt shèik) = shâke rattle

Shêila = Shêilagh

shékel makes a minimal pair with sháckle

shéllfish cf. sélfish

shenánigans - no double letters

shépherd *shépperd = Shépherd = Shéphard = Shépheard persons

shërbet, cf. Hërbert

shërd

shériff *shérrif

shh: any number of further h’s can be added

Shìa can sound like BrE shêer

shíbboleth

shín = first part of Sínn Fèin (Sinn Féin)

Shïrley

Shìîte: no apostrophe or hyphen

shoe foot = shoô away, as in shoô-ín

shóne shine BrE, AmE shône (= shôwn show)

shoô-in noun one word; *shoe-ín

shoôt bang = chûte fall

shôre sea BrE = Shåw person and often = sûre certain

shŏrn shear BrE = Shåun, Seån persons

shŏrtcoming one word

shŏrtlist finalists cf. a shŏrt líst not long

Shostakôvich

shoùld *shoòd, rhyming with goòd

shôulder rhymes with côlder

shôwbiz one word

shôwcase one word, cf. bàsket câse

shôwdòwn

shòwer

shrápnel

Shreŵsbury *Shroôzbry or, more commonly, *Shrôzbry

Shrì alternative spelling of Srì - but not in Srì Lánka

shrúg

shŷ timid, throw

shŷlỳ

Siàn *Shàn, cf. Shåwn = Shåun = Seån

Sibèlius, -

Sibêria, -

síbling

síbyllîne - y as schwa

Sícily island = Cícely person

sidêreal

sìêge cf. sêize

síeve *sív, cf. sêize

Sìerra Leône, Leônean; also *Sì-érra

sîgh breath = person = psî Greek

sîghed sigh = sîde beside

sîght see = sîte place = cîte quote

sîgn signal = sîne mathematics, making minimal pairs with scêne = sêen (*sîn, *sên)

sígnal, g pronounced

sígnature, g pronounced

sîgnpost *sînepôst

Sìkh religion = sêek find

silhouétte *sílu-wét

sílly foolish = Scílly Islands

Simféropol, Simferópol

símilê cf. símilar, smîle

Sîmon

simultâneous BrE -, AmE -

Sînaî

Sinàtra

sîne = sîgn

síneŵ

síng song = Síngh person

Singapŏre

Singapŏrean

síngeing singe -njing, cf. sínging sing, ng sound (twice)

sínger: síng + -er, cf. síngeing

singlemîndedly

Sínn Fèin *Shín Fâin (Irish: Sinn Féin)

Siobhån, with many variant spellings, *Shivåwn

sîphon or sŷphon

sïr - but Sir before a man’s name is not stressed and has the schwa sound: *Sə(r) Jóhn Fålstaff

Sïrte = cërt

sîsal

sîte place = cîte quote = sîght see

sîting site

sítting sit

situâtion - -, cf. citâtion, -

sîze cf. sêize

sîzeable or sîzable

sîzem- seîsmic, seismólogy, etc.

sízzle, cf. scíssors

skéleton bones, cf. Skélton

skì snow, cf. skŷ above

skìed, skìer ski

skîed, skîer sky

skìíng

skíll, skílful BrE, skíllful AmE

skïrmish

skïrt

skîve

skuldúggery, skulldúggery

skúll head = scúll oar

skúll-cap hyphenated

skŷscrâper one word

slág cf. Glénda Slágg

slây kill = slèigh snow

slêaze cf. plêase, which rhymes, and grêase greasy = Grêece Greek

slêeve cf. lêave

slêek rhymes with chìc

sleîght-of-hand: some say slâte

slépt rhymes with stépped

sleûth

sleŵ

slîght little, insult = sleîght-of-hand *slîte

*slîly slŷly (though drîly is an alternative form of drŷly)

slípshod no hyphen

slôe fruit = slôw fast

slôth

slòugh swamp, despond *slòu = Slòugh town, cf. slôw fast

sloúgh skin *slúff, as in sloúgh óff

Slôvák

Slovákia BrE; AmE Slovàkia

slôw fast = slôe blackthorn

slúg

slür

slŷ

slŷlỳ

smållpox one word

smêar

smélt smell, metal, fish

smídgen or smídgin cf. pídgin

smôkescreen one word

smoôth -dh, rhymes with soôthe

Smŷth = Smŷthe, voiced th, cf. Smíth = smíth, unvoiced th

snêer

snêeze

snóbbery

snoôty cf. soòty

snoôze

Snôwden Edward = Snôwdon Snowdonia

snôwmobìle cf. môbîle

snôwstorm

soâp cf. Sôper

sŏar up = sŏre hurt

sôber cf. BrE sómbre AmE sómber

sóbriquèt *sóbrikây

sóccer *sócker (from "Association football")

Sóchi BrE, Sôchi AmE

sôcial sôsh-

sôcialism

sociólogy sôsh-

sociológical

sóck cf. sóccer

sóckpuppet one word

Sófia Bulgaria cf. Sôphia person

sóften *sóffen

sóftwãre

Sôho London = SôHo New York

sólace *sóllis, cf. Hóllis

sôldier *sôljer, cf. cŏrdial, as spelt

sôle only, fish = sôul spirit = Seôul Korea

sôlely

sólemn *sóllum

solémnity, n sounded

sólipsism

solitãire patience cf. sólitary alone

sôlo

Sólomon - all o’s

Solzhenítsyn Aleksandr

sómbre BrE; AmE sómber; cf. sôber

sòme any = súm total

sòmeday future one word

sòmehòw one word

sòmeone *súmwún, one word

sòmersåult cf. súmmer

Sòmerville cf. súmmer

sòmething cf. sòme thíngs

sòmetime adjective, adverb (the sòmetime gòvernor, Î'll do ít sòmetime), otherwise two words (at sòme tîme)

sòmeẁhat one word

sônàr

sóngwrîter one word

sonórity

sónorous

Sóny or Sôny

soôn

sôooo (as much ...ooooo as is desired) used for humorous effect to show a lengthened (as in soooooooooooooooo fúnny, meant ironically), though it looks as if it would be pronounced like sûe/Sûe (*soô)

soòt

soôthe rhymes with smoôth

sóp cf. sôap

sŏre pain = sŏar rise, BrE = såw see

sortiê

sótto vôcè *sótto vôchâi, may be italicised

sŏught seek BrE = sŏrt type

sôul spirit = sôle only, fish = Seôul Korea

sòundbite one word

soûp

soûpçon *soûpsón

sŏurce origin BrE = såuce seasoning

Soûsa (though the original Portuguese name has a sound more like ô)

soûsaphone sûza-

Soûsse

sòuth unvoiced th, *sòwth; compound forms may be one word or hyphenated, but not two words: southêast or sòuth-êast, southwést or sòuth-wést

soúthern voiced th, *súdhə(r)n

Soúthey voiced th, *Súdhêe, or unvoiced th, *Sòwthêe (= Sòuthee)

Soúthwark voiced th, *Súdhək

souvenìr *soôvenêer

sóvereign *sóvrin

sóvereignty *sóvrənty

Sóviet seems to be the more common post-Sôviet pronunciation; -ìət

sôw seed = therefore = sew cloth, cf. sòw

sòw pig

Sowétô, from Sòuth-Wést(ern) Tòwnships

sŏya bean = Såwyer person = såwyer saw

spà town BrE = spàr fight

spâceship one word

spâde = spâyed

Spâin

Spániard

Spánish

spâte flood, many = Spêight person

spây = Spèy river

spêak = Spêke, cf. spêech

spêar makes a minimal pair with sphêre

spécial *spéshle

spécialty = Spécialty

speciálity

spêcíes *spêeshiz, *spêeseez

specífic

spécimen

spéctacle

spéctre BrE; AmE spécter = Spéctor person

spêech cf. spêak

Spéncer usual = Spénser poet

sphêre

sphérical

spìêl *shpêel

spíllage -íj

spínach *spínij, *spínnage, cf. spíllage

spínet, spinét

spîral

Spokáne

spôke speak, wheel

spôken

spôkesperson one word

spótlîght -lîte, one word

spôx, abbreviation of spôkespërson

sprêe

sprîghtly *sprîtely

*sprîly (though drîly is an alternative form of drŷly)

sprîte

sprŷ

sprŷly

spŷ

sqùander

sqùalour BrE; AmE squàlor

sqùat

sqùatter

squåwk

squêak

squêal

squêamish

squîre

squírrel

squïrt

Srébrenice *Srébrənítzə

Srì Lánka can be pronounced, but not spelt, Shr-

St. or St *Sənt: abbreviation of Sâint before a name as in St. Màrk; St Jóhn as a secular and/or personal name may be *Sínjən; also an abbreviation of Strêet

stâbilise

stâble stability, horse

stâgefright *stâjefrîte, one word

stâid old-fashioned = stâyed stay

stâin mark = Stèyn person, cf. Steîn

stãir up = stãre look cf. stàr

stâke bet, wooden = steâk meat

ståll

stålwart

stànch flow

Stánsted Ãirport

stàr sky, film = Stàrr

stãre look = stãir climb

stãred, stãring stare

stàrred, stàrring star

stâteside one word

stâtionary motionless = stâtionery paper

stâtist

statístics

státistícian -shn

státutory

ståunch support

stây

stâyed stay = stâid old-fashioned

stéad cf. stéady, stêed

steâk meat = stâke bet, wooden, cf. strêak line

stêal thieve = stêel metal

stéalth

steîn; surname can also be Stêin

sténch

stép walk = stéppe plain

stépfàther, stépmòther, etc., each one word

Stéphanie, Stéf-, and not usually with a second 'e', unlike...

Stêphen = Stêven, both pronounced -v-

stépped rhymes with slépt

stérilise

stërling quality, currency = Stïrling Scotland = Stërling

steŵard

Steŵart person = Stûart person: one is more likely to meet a Stûart Steŵart than the reverse

stíck

stîfle

stígma

stíll

stíng

stíngy -njy

stínk

stîpend

Stïrling see stërling

stítch

St. Jóhn in most cases *Sənt Jón, in a few *Sín Jən

St. Loûis most often *St. Leŵis, cf. Loûis *Loûee

St. Lûcia *Sənt Lûshə

St. Morítz *Sán Mərítts

stóckpile one word

stôíc -k

stôícism -s-

stôle steal, fur

stòmach *stúmmək

stôny

stópôver noun, adjective

stŏre shop = Stŏrr person

stŏrey BrE floor = stŏry tale, AmE floor

stŏry-télling

Stŏrmont

Stöurton

St. Pêtersburg

Stráchan *Strákən, *Stråwn

strâight direct = strâit narrow

strâight awây two words

straightfŏrward adjective one word, no hyphen

strâight-lâced or strâit-lâced

strâitjacket

strâits dire, Dire Straits

strânge -j

strânger -j-

strángle

strángler

Stranràer

Strásböurg, Strásbŏurg Stráz-

stràta BrE; AmE strâta = BrE strâighter

strátegem

stratêgic

strátegist

strátegy

stràtum AmE strâtum

Stràùss *Stròwse, hissing s; Strauß is not used in English, as the German-language character ß (esszet) is not used

stråw mán two words

strêamlined one word

Stréatham London = Strétham Cambridgeshire *Strétəm

strénuous

streŵ

streŵed

streŵn

stríp

strîpe

strîve

stríven

strômuhr

strôve

strýchnìne *strícknêen

Stûart person = Steŵart person - the Scottish royals were Stûarts but Stûart is more common as a given name, Steŵart more as a family name

stúbborn

stúcco

stûdent

stúdy

stùmm *shtùm

stûpid

stûpor *stûper, *stûpour

stŷ pig = stŷ or stŷe eye

stŷle mode = stîle field

stŷmie cf. slîmy

Stýx river = stícks stick

suàve swà-

súb can be a word in its own right, but only as an abbreviation (itself a súbstitute), meaning for example sub-édit, sub-éditor, submarìne, or indeed súbstitûte; far more often though it is attached to the following word, with or without a hyphen; and there is also the Latin legal expression súb jûdice (*subjûdísì or *subyûdikây)

súbfúsc

súbject noun, subjéct verb

súbjugate

submarìne

submáriner

submít

subŏrn

subpoêna BrE; AmE --

subsîdence

súbsídy

substántial -shəl

súbtitle

súbtle = Súttle person, cf. súpple

súbürb

subürban

succêed -x-

succéss -x-

succínct -x-

súccour help = súcker fool

succúmb -úm

súch so = Sútch person

Sudán, Sudàn, Sù-, cf. sedán sí-

sûe law = Sûe Susan = Sioûx American; cf. diminutives Sûsie, Sûzy, etc. = Sioûxsie Banshees; words beginning soô- and soû- also have this sound

suède material = swâyed sway

Sûez *Soôwíz

suffîce

súffocâte

Súffolk -fək

súffrage cf. súffer

sùgar shù-

suicîdal

sûing *sûeing

sûit wear, cards *sût, or, perhaps more common in inflected versions such as unsûitable, *syût; cf. soòt black

suìte rooms, music = swêet confection

súllen

súlphur BrE; AmE súlfur

súltan

súm arithmetic = sòme others

súmmary summarise = súmmery summer

sún star = sòn offspring

*sunàmi tsunàmi

súndae ice-cream = Súnday day

súnglasses one word

Sùnni Muslim = Northern English pronunciation of súnny weather; some AmE speakers say Sûnni *Soôny

súnny sun = sònny son

sûper cf. súpper

sûper-rích: hyphen avoids apparent ‘supérrich’

supercílious

supërfluous

superflûity

sûpermarket one word

sûpermodel one word

sûperpòwer one word

supersêde cf. precêde, intercêde

súpper

súpple *súpəl, rhyming with coúple, cf. súbtle, *sútəl

súpplement -pləmənt

supplŷ provide

súpplỳ supple

suppréss -pp-

sûre AmE *shûre; BrE sůre rhyming with Shåw

sûrety AmE *shûre, BrE *shůrety

sürf sea = sërf peasant

sürface -físs, cf. sërvíce, minimal pair

sürge rush = sërge cloth

Surinám or -náme

surmòunt

surrêalism, cf. sêrialism

súrrogacy

súrrogate

sürplíce clergysürplus extra

surprîse -rpr-; not -ize

survèillance spy: some pronounce it like survèyance

sürvèy noun, survèy verb

survèyance surveyor

Sûsan -z-, cf. Suzánne, etc.

suscéptible

suspéct verb, súspect person

suspénse AmE and BrE; but see retroalphabetical list for -ence and -ense

sustâin

sústenance

súttee (nowadays often sàti), cf. soòty (minimal pair)

svélte

svengàli, S-

sẁallow throat, bird

sẁamp

sẁan bird = Sẁann person

Sẁansea *Swónzy

sẁansong

sẁap = swóp, a chiefly British variant

swårthy

sẁastika, some AmE swastìka

sẁat fly = swót exam = Swàt Valley

sẁath ridge (*swóth, unvoiced th), spelling and even pronunciation increasingly used in place of swâthe large area or quantity (*swâydh, voiced th, rhyming with lâthe and bâthe)

swéar

swéat perspire

swêde vegetable = Swêde Sweden, cf. suède = swâyed

swêet eat = suìte music, hote

swêetheàrt

swêetshop one word

sweêt-talk verb hyphenated

Swíthin or Swíthun

swŏrd blade *sŏrd = sŏared soar, cf. swård turf, swŏre, swŏrn swear, w pronounced in all three

swóp, a chiefly British variant = sẁap

swót exam = sẁat fly = Swàt Valley

*swóth, see sẁath, swâthe

-: initially, sy is pronounced like - in sít, apart from sŷphon (= sîphon) and Sŷracûse Italy

sybarític cf. síbyllîne

sýcamore

*sych- no words begin like this

sýcophánt

Sýdney Australia, person = Sídney person

Sylhét

sýllable

sýllabúb

sýllabus

sýlph

symbiótic

sýmbol sign = cýmbal percussion

sýmmetry

symmétrical

sýmptom cf. Símpson

sýnagogue *sínnagóg

sýnc, sýnch synchronisation = sínk lower, wash

sýnched, sýnch'd, sýnc'd: past forms of preceding-as-verb

sýndrome

synécdochê -kê

sýnod

sŷphon or sîphon

Sýracuse America, Sŷracuse Italy

Sýria makes a minimal pair with Sírius, cf. Líbya

syrínge

Sýriza, cf. Sýria ("Syrêetsa", with a German-sounding ts sound for the z, is sometimes heard)

sýrup

sýsóp

sýstem

systemátic

systémic