Definition of inflect in English:

inflect

Line breaks: in|flect
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈflɛkt
 
/

verb

[with object]
1 Grammar Change the form of (a word) to express a particular grammatical function or attribute, typically tense, mood, person, number, and gender: Arabic verbs are inflected for person, number, and gender
More example sentences
  • By contrast, the final verb is not marked for switch-reference but is fully inflected for such categories, and this inflection is relevant to the whole clause chain.
  • A mantra is a kind of prayer that contains the name of God that is inflected grammatically in the dative case.
  • There are two present-tense verbs here, both inflected for plural agreement.
1.1 [no object] (Of a word or language) undergo inflection: all of these words inflect irregularly
More example sentences
  • Chinese is monosyllabic, Japanese is polysyllabic; Japanese verbs, adjectives and adverbs inflect, whereas they don't in Chinese; and Japanese has a system of postpositions that Chinese doesn't.
  • We listed a few words that we claimed were just exceptions to the claim that monosyllabic adjectives inflect, and we included wrong on that list.
  • Languages can be classified into one of three types: isolating or noninflective, agglutinating, and inflecting.
2Vary the intonation or pitch of (the voice), especially to express mood or feeling: his slight voice, inflected with a token touch of grit
More example sentences
  • ‘Odd seeing Mr. Van Doren here,’ Ronald says, his deep voice inflected with curiosity.
  • One thing that on-line communication doesn't give is a sense of how people's voices inflect what they say with particular meanings that you don't always pick up when someone is writing.
  • The postcingulum has a similar, but reversed pattern: it leaves the hypocone posteriorly, swings labially, is inflected sharply anterolabially, and ends at the posterior spur lingual to the intermediate row of cusps.
2.1Vary the pitch of (a musical note).
More example sentences
  • As the patterns of notes or letters are inflected, moments of fulfillment or stability are perceived.
  • Taking a whirlwind tempo, as he did, is one thing; but failing to inflect the smaller motivic units that comprise it is quite another.
  • But even performers who ‘adhere to the score’ greatly inflect their readings by personal, pianistic, musical and emotional modifications.
2.2Influence or colour (music or writing) in tone or style: her analysis may have been inflected by the upsurge of feminism [in combination]: blues-inflected bar rock
More example sentences
  • The word professional is almost always negatively inflected for Woolf, whether it denotes the academic credentials that were historically denied to women or an excessive emphasis on public perception and financial success.
  • That is, the approach I have described as Curtin's might be inflected by American practices, such as those at Iowa.
  • But I believe the historical conjunction that gave rise to accountability continues to inflect and propel it.
3 technical Bend or deflect (something), especially inwards: particles readily inflect, deflect and jostle one another
More example sentences
  • Each milieu affects the space, bends it, inflects it, shapes it.
  • The angular process of the dentary is inflected medially in almost all marsupials.
  • Working by consensus decision making, the group generated a design that splays in both plan and section, inflecting the structure outward while focusing inward to the place of ceremony.

Origin

late Middle English (in sense 3): from Latin inflectere, from in- 'into' + flectere 'to bend'.

Derivatives

inflective

adjective
More example sentences
  • He has a majestic voice that is supple and inflective while still being just a bit gritty.

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