Definition - A consonant with a hissing sound, e.g. the /s/ in miss and the /z/ in his.

Etymology -
The term derives from the Latin sibilans, hissing (from sibilare, to hiss or whistle).

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation is from 1788:
"Next come different classes of dentals, and among the first of them should be placed the sibilants."
(W. Jones in Asiatick Researches I. 11)

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