Definition of cuneiform in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkjuːnɪfɔːm/
Pronunciation: /kjuːˈneɪɪfɔːm/


1Denoting or relating to the wedge-shaped characters used in the ancient writing systems of Mesopotamia, Persia, and Ugarit, surviving mainly on clay tablets: a cuneiform inscription
More example sentences
  • Digital representations of the tablets bearing the cuneiform writing of ancient Mesopotamia have started appearing on the Internet.
  • The beginnings have been found in palace archives - hoards of clay tablets inscribed in cuneiform - in Mesopotamia.
  • They were Sumerian and Akkadian words inscribed in parallel columns on clay tablets in cuneiform writing and were organized thematically.
2 Anatomy Denoting three bones of the tarsus (ankle) between the navicular bone and the metatarsals.
Example sentences
  • Wounds on the foot consisted of exposed long extensor tendons and medial cuneiform and navicular bones and first metatarsal bone was exposed along its length up to the first metatarsal phalangeal joint.
  • The peroneus longus muscle also inserts onto the inferior surface of the first cuneiform bone.
  • First, there was a broken cuneiform bone in his left foot.
3chiefly Biology Wedge-shaped: the eggs are cuneiform
More example sentences
  • Elastic cartilage is found in the external ear, auditory tube, epiglottis, and corniculate and cuneiform cartilages of the larynx.
  • The paired, club-shaped, elastic cuneiform cartilages are anterior to the corniculate cartilages.


[mass noun]
Cuneiform writing: a Mesopotamian script pre-dating cuneiform
More example sentences
  • Their basic economic organization and system of writing cuneiform, architectural forms, and legal practices remained in use.
  • ‘No ice,’ concluded a lengthy report written by a bloke in, for no discernible reason, Ancient Hittite cuneiform.
  • Although the idea may have come from Mesopotamia, the script was independent of the cuneiform.


Late 17th century: from French cunéiforme or modern Latin cuneiformis, from Latin cuneus 'wedge'.

Words that rhyme with cuneiform


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cu¦nei|form

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