Vowels in a Row
Bill from Merritt,
Michigan, asked if there are any words that contain all five vowels in order.
The answer is yes. Helping matters greatly is the existence of the common suffix
–ious/-ous, meaning characterized by or full of. That leaves us the task of frontloading
words with the letters a and e. I used a wildcard search in the online
Oxford English Dictionary to find the following examples. The ones marked with
an asterisk are now obsolete or rare.
(bitter or harsh)
(variant of adventitious, extraneous or by chance)
(growing in windy conditions)
(pertaining to a worm)
(prolongation of the right ventricle in mammals)
(producing heat through putrefaction)
(composed of matter)
(proximity of reproductive organs in mosses)
Remember that –y is sometimes used as a vowel, so if
you want to expand the list, add –y
to the words that sustain an adverb form, such as facetiously, abstemiously, and
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