umlaut

[oom-lout] Linguistics.
noun
1.
a mark (¨) used as a diacritic over a vowel, as ä, ö, ü, to indicate a vowel sound different from that of the letter without the diacritic, especially as so used in German. Compare dieresis.
2.
Also called vowel mutation. (in Germanic languages) assimilation in which a vowel is influenced by a following vowel or semivowel.
verb (used with object)
3.
to modify by umlaut.
4.
to write an umlaut over.

Origin:
1835–45; < German, equivalent to um- about (i.e., changed) + Laut sound

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World English Dictionary
umlaut (ˈʊmlaʊt)
 
n
1.  Compare diaeresis the mark (¨) placed over a vowel in some languages, such as German, indicating modification in the quality of the vowel
2.  (esp in Germanic languages) the change of a vowel within a word brought about by the assimilating influence of a vowel or semivowel in a preceding or following syllable
 
[C19: German, from um around (in the sense of changing places) + Laut sound]

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

umlaut
1852, from Ger., "change of sound," from um "about" (see ambi-) + laut "sound," from O.H.G. hlut (see listen). Coined 1774 by poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock (1724-1803) but first used in its current sense 1819 by linguist Jakob Grimm (1785-1863).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Provision is made for an umlaut and other diacritical marks, but these are dropped in common usage.
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