diacritical mark


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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