Also called diacritical mark. a mark, point, or sign added or attached to a letter or character to distinguish it from another of similar form, to give it a particular phonetic value, to indicate stress, etc., as a cedilla, tilde, circumflex, or macron.

1670–80; < Greek diakritikós distinctive, equivalent to dia- dia- + kritikós; see critic

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World English Dictionary
diacritic (ˌdaɪəˈkrɪtɪk)
1.  Also called: diacritical mark a sign placed above or below a character or letter to indicate that it has a different phonetic value, is stressed, or for some other reason
2.  another word for diacritical
[C17: from Greek diakritikos serving to distinguish, from diakrinein, from dia- + krinein to separate]

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

1690s, from Gk. diakritikos "that separates or distinguishes," from diakrinein "to separate." Related: Diacritical.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

diacritic di·a·crit·ic (dī'ə-krĭt'ĭk) or di·a·crit·i·cal (-ĭ-kəl)
Diagnostic or distinctive.

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
We'd quickly have to hire a full-time diacritic researcher to get every mark on every other of the world's languages.
Look for differences in diacritic marks and spacing.
For the transcription task, if any diacritic information is present in the reference and system transcripts, it is removed.
When the rhythmic divided time is spread over several syllables, the accentuated note is topped with an acute diacritic.
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