circumflex

circumflex

[sur-kuhm-fleks]
adjective
1.
consisting of, indicated by, or bearing the mark ^, ˘, or ~, placed over a vowel symbol in some languages to show that the vowel or the syllable containing it is pronounced in a certain way, as, in French, that the vowel so marked is of a certain quality and long, in Albanian, that the vowel is nasalized and stressed, or, in Classical Greek, that the syllable bears the word accent and is pronounced, according to the ancient grammarians, with a rise and fall in pitch.
2.
pronounced with or characterized by the quality, quantity, stress, or pitch indicated by such a mark.
3.
bending or winding around.
noun
4.
a circumflex mark or accent.
verb (used with object)
5.
to bend around.

Origin:
1555–65; < Latin circumflexus, equivalent to circum- circum- + flexus, past participle of flectere to bend; see flex

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Collins
World English Dictionary
circumflex (ˈsɜːkəmˌflɛks)
 
n
1.  a mark (^) placed over a vowel to show that it is pronounced with rising and falling pitch, as in ancient Greek, as a long vowel rather than a short one, as in French, or with some other different quality
 
adj
2.  (of certain nerves, arteries, or veins) bending or curving around
 
[C16: from Latin circumflexus, from circumflectere to bend around, from circum- + flectere to bend]
 
circum'flexion
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

circumflex
c.1577, from L. circumflexus, "bent about," pp. of circumflectere, used as a loan-tr. of Gk. perispomenos, lit. "drawn-around," with reference to shape.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

circumflex cir·cum·flex (sûr'kəm-flěks')
adj.

  1. Curving or bending around.

  2. Bowed.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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