Definition of retroflex in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈrɛtrə(ʊ)flɛks/
(also retroflexed)


1 Anatomy & Medicine Turned backwards: a retroflexed endoscope
More example sentences
  • The retroflexed view confirmed a loose wrap with prolapsing gastric folds.
  • The retroflexed view in the stomach demonstrated findings consistent with a slipped fundoplication.
  • Scarring from adhesions as a result of endometriosis or fibroids can also cause the uterus to shift to a tilted or retroflexed state.
1.1 Phonetics Pronounced with the tip of the tongue curled up towards the hard palate: the retroflex /r/
More example sentences
  • Sicilian, phonetically characterized by the presence of retroflexed consonants, not only keeps all the vowel sounds clear and loud but introduces an epenthetic [i] in some consonantic groups.
  • It is phonologically impossible since Tamil has no [z] sound and since the retroflex approximant sometimes romanized < z > cannot appear in initial position.
  • Waymamba taught us the sounds of Yolngu Matha, the retroflexed T that sounds like an ‘rt’, like watu, dog, the elusive ‘ng’ that emerges from the back of the throat, heard in the word Yolngu, and the glottal stop that sounds like a hiccup.



Pronunciation: /rɛtrə(ʊ)ˈflɛkʃ(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • So ‘softening’ might be removal of retroflexion.
  • Even if endoscopic examination includes retroflexion of the scope to inspect the anal canal, optimal visualization is obtained with the Ive's slotted anoscope.
  • The increasing use of retroflexion proctoscopy to evaluate the distal rectum is not without complications.


Late 18th century: from Latin retroflex- 'bent backwards', from the verb retroflectere, from retro 'backwards' + flectere 'to bend'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: retro|flex

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.