The close-mid front unrounded vowel, or high-mid front unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨e⟩.
For the close-mid front unrounded vowel that is usually transcribed with the symbol ⟨ɪ⟩ or ⟨i⟩, see near-close front unrounded vowel. If the usual symbol is ⟨e⟩, the vowel is listed here.
There is also the mid front unrounded vowel (listen (help·info)) in some languages, which is slightly lower. It is normally written ⟨e⟩, but if precision is required, diacritics may be used, such as ⟨e̞⟩ or ⟨ɛ̝⟩ (the former, indicating lowering, being more common).
For many of the languages that have only one phonemic front unrounded vowel in the mid-vowel area (neither close nor open), the vowel is pronounced as a true mid vowel and is phonetically distinct from either a close-mid or open-mid vowel. Examples are Basque, Spanish, Romanian, Japanese, Turkish, Finnish, Greek, Hejazi Arabic, Serbo-Croatian and Korean (Seoul dialect). A number of dialects of English also have such a mid front vowel. However, there is no general predisposition. Igbo and Egyptian Arabic, for example, have a close-mid [e], and Bulgarian has an open-mid [ɛ], but none of these languages have another phonemic mid front vowel.
Kensiu, spoken in Malaysia and Thailand, is claimed to be unique in having true-mid vowels that are phonemically distinct from both close-mid and open-mid vowels, without differences in other parameters such as backness or roundedness.