IPA phonetic symbol 〚ɛ〛

From Teflpedia


bête [bɛt]

The IPA phonetic symbol [ɛ][1] represents an open-mid front unrounded vowel, like the most common pronunciation of the English phoneme /e/ (as in dress). It is also the "ê" sound in French, as in bête (animal) or the "e" sound in German Bett (bed).

The English phonemes /e/ and /eə/ use "e" instead of "ɛ" only for historical reasons, and several dictionaries prefer "ɛ" over "e". In any case there is no confusion with /eɪ/: if a broad notation has the symbol /e/ followed by anything different of /ɪ/, then [ɛ] should be understood. In this way, /feɪs/ is [feɪs], /dres/ is [drɛs] and /skweər/ is [skwɛər].

See also IPA phonetic symbol [e].

Notation Use dress square face
Broad Daniel Jones's scheme for Received Pronunciation (used in Teflpedia) e
Broad Clive Upton's scheme for Received Pronunciation ɛ ɛː
Broad Collins English Dictionary ɛ ɛə[2]
Broad Most American dictionaries ɛ ɛ
Broad Kenyon and Knott[3] ɛ ɛ e
Narrow Standard Southern British English[4] ɛ ɛː ɛj
Narrow Australian English[5] e æɪ
Narrow Estuary English ɛ ɛːɐ ʌɪ
Narrow Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary ɛ

Unicode and HTML[edit]

Unicode: U+025B Latin small letter open E

HTML: ɛ ɛ

Can be confused with U+03B5 Greek small letter epsilon: ε ε


  1. For technical reasons double brackets appear on the page title.
  2. Collins English Dictionary, square
  3. John Kenyon and Thomas Knott, A Pronouncing Dictionary of American English, 1949.
  4. English Speech Services, The British English vowel system, March 8, 2012.
  5. Wikipedia, Australian English phonology, accessed on 8 july 2014, permanent link