by Heather

Vest-Pocket Vocabulary

Oxyph’ony, n. shrillness of voice.

Word in the Wild: Alex wanted to enter the political life, but was held back by a devastating case of oxyphony.

This word hails from at least 1769, according to the OED, and is a compound of oxy-, meaning keen, sharp or acid, and -phony, meaning sound or tone.

You can find a complete listing of the Word Blog’s Vest-Pocket Vocabulary entries and learn more about where they come from here.

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