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[dahy-uh-krit-ik] /ˌdaɪ əˈkrɪt ɪk/
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.
Origin of diacritic
1670-80; < Greek diakritikós distinctive, equivalent to dia- dia- + kritikós; see critic Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for diacritic
  • 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.
British Dictionary definitions for diacritic


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
another word for diacritical
Word Origin
C17: from Greek diakritikos serving to distinguish, from diakrinein, from dia- + krinein to separate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for diacritic

1690s, of sounds, from Greek diakritikos "that separates or distinguishes," from diakrinein "to separate one from another," from dia- (see dia-) + krinein "to separate, decide, judge" (see crisis). As a noun, from 1866. Related: Diacritical.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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diacritic in Medicine

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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