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[oo m-lout] /ˈʊm laʊt/ Linguistics
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.
Also called vowel mutation. (in Germanic languages) assimilation in which a vowel is influenced by a following vowel or semivowel.
verb (used with object)
to modify by umlaut.
to write an umlaut over.
Origin of umlaut
1835-45; < German, equivalent to um- about (i.e., changed) + Laut sound Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for umlaut


the mark (¨) placed over a vowel in some languages, such as German, indicating modification in the quality of the vowel Compare diaeresis
(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
Word Origin
C19: German, from um around (in the sense of changing places) + Laut sound
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 umlaut

1852, from German umlaut "change of sound," from um "about" (see ambi-) + laut "sound," from Old High German 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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