Loss of the voice resulting from disease, injury to the vocal cords, or various psychological causes, such as hysteria.
[New Latin aphōnia, from Greek aphōniā, speechlessness, from aphōnos, voiceless : a-, without; see A-1 + phōnē, voice; see bhā-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
a·phonic (ā-fŏnĭk, ā-fōnĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.