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circumflex

Line breaks: cir¦cum|flex
Pronunciation: /ˈsəːkəmflɛks
 
/

Definition of circumflex in English:

noun

(also circumflex accent) A mark (^) placed over a vowel in some languages to indicate contraction, length, or a particular quality.
Example sentences
  • The evidence is that originally the German keyboard produced circumflexes instead of umlauts but it was replaced by an English keyboard.
  • The French have had a crack at reforming plurals and circumflexes.
  • Some speakers would give these words the circumflex, but it would be the rising circumflex, so that the sound would still terminate with the rising inflection.

adjective

Anatomy Back to top  
Bending round something else; curved: circumflex coronary arteries
More example sentences
  • 4 left circumflex coronary arteries were affected.
  • The left circumflex coronary artery showed severe calcific atherosclerosis.
  • Although there is great individual variation, most people have three major coronary arteries: the right coronary artery, left anterior descending branch and left circumflex branch.

Origin

late 16th century: from Latin circumflexus (from circum 'around, about' + flectere 'to bend'), translating Greek perispōmenos 'drawn around'.

More
  • accent from (Late Middle English):

    English distinguishes the different parts or syllables of a word by stressing one of them, but the ancient Greeks pronounced them with a distinct difference in musical pitch. Syllables marked with a grave accent (for example à, from Latin gravis ‘heavy, serious’) were spoken at a comparatively low pitch, those with an acute (á, from Latin acutus ‘sharp, high’) at a higher pitch, and those with a circumflex (â, from Latin circumflexus, ‘bent around’) began at the higher pitch and descended during the pronunciation of the syllable. This gives some explanation of why the root of accent is Latin cantus ‘song’, which was a direct translation of the Greek word prosōidia (source of prosody (Late Middle English) ‘versification’). Quite a few languages (technically known as ‘tonal’ languages) still have this musical way of speaking, among them Chinese and Swedish.

Words that rhyme with circumflex

complexduplexAmex

Definition of circumflex in:

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