Definition of Syllables:
A syllable is a sound or a combination of sounds, which can be pronounced at a time, or at a single effort of the voice. It constitutes a word, or a part of a word that consists of one or more letters with one vowel sound. This means that we hear one vowel sound in every syllable.
A word of one syllable is called a mono-syllabic word, as sad, bus, tree, doll,etc (there are one vowel-sound here).
A word of two syllables is called a disyallabic word, such as, heavy, poem, motel (there are two vowel-sounds here, and so two syllables are ‘heav’ and ‘y’, ‘po’ and ’em’, ‘mo’ and ‘tel’)
A word of three syllables is called a tri-syllabic word, as, delightful (the number of vowel-sounds is three here, and the syllables are ‘de’, ‘light’ and ‘full’), po-e-try, ac-ci-dent, etc.
A word of four syllables is called a tetrasyllabic word, as, melancholy (there are four vowel-sounds here and the syllables are ‘mel’, ‘an’, ‘chol” and ‘y’).
A word of five syllables is called apentasyllabic word, as, melodramatic (here the vowel-sounds are five, and the syllables are ‘mel’, ‘o’, ‘dra’, ‘ma’, and ‘tic’).
Similarly, there are hexasyllabic (of six syllables) words, septi-syllabic (of seven syllables) words, and so on.
A word of many syllables is called a polysyllabic word.
The syllabic division of a word is usually shown by the mark(-). Thus, the above words may be re-written on the basis of the syllables they contain the following manner : sad, heav-y, de-light-ful, mel-an-chol-y and mel-o-dra-ma-tic.
Also read; Discuss the figure of speech Ellipsis: Definition and its use