A branch of linguistics dealing with the analysis, description, and classification of speech sounds. More specifically, phonetics deals with the physical production of → phonemes regardless of language, while → phonology studies how those sounds are put together to create meaningful words in a particular language.
From phonetic, from N.L. phoneticus, from Gk. phonetikos "vocal," from phonet(os) "utterable," verbal adj. of phonein "to speak clearly, utter," from → phone + -ikos, → -ics.