cuneiform

[kyoo-nee-uh-fawrm, kyoo-nee-uh-]
adjective
1.
having the form of a wedge; wedge-shaped.
2.
composed of slim triangular or wedge-shaped elements, as the characters used in writing by the ancient Akkadians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, and others.
3.
written in cuneiform characters: cuneiform inscription.
4.
Anatomy. noting or pertaining to any of various wedge-shaped bones, as of the tarsus.
noun
5.
cuneiform characters or writing.
6.
a cuneiform bone.
Also, cuniform.


Origin:
1670–80; < Latin cune(us) a wedge + -i- + -form

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World English Dictionary
cuneiform (ˈkjuːnɪˌfɔːm)
 
adj
1.  Also: cuneal wedge-shaped
2.  of, relating to, or denoting the wedge-shaped characters employed in the writing of several ancient languages of Mesopotamia and Persia, esp Sumerian, Babylonian, etc
3.  of or relating to a tablet in which this script is employed
4.  of or relating to any of the three tarsal bones
 
n
5.  cuneiform characters or writing
6.  any one of the three tarsal bones
 
[C17: probably from Old French cunéiforme, from Latin cuneus wedge]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

cuneiform
1677, "wedge shaped," from Fr. cunéiforme, from L. cuneus "a wedge," of unknown origin + form. Applied 1818 to characters in ancient Middle Eastern inscriptions made with wedge-shaped writing tools.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

cuneiform (kyōō'nē-ə-fôrm', kyōō-nē'-)
adj.

  1. Wedge-shaped.

  2. Of, relating to, or being a wedge-shaped bone or cartilage.

n.
A wedge-shaped bone, especially one of three such bones of the foot.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
From bureaucratic cuneiform to monumental hieroglyphs, early writing systems were mostly divorced from speech.
Five to three thousand years ago cuneiform was state of the art.
Cuneiform characters are written either with patterns of small impressed triangles or with incised pictographs.
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