cir·​cum·​flex | \ ˈsər-kəm-ˌfleks How to pronounce circumflex (audio) \

Definition of circumflex

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : characterized by the pitch, quantity, or quality indicated by a circumflex
2 : marked with a circumflex



Definition of circumflex (Entry 2 of 2)

: a mark ˆ, ⌢, or ˜ originally used in Greek over long vowels to indicate a rising-falling tone and in other languages to mark length, contraction, or a particular vowel quality

Examples of circumflex in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There’s something about the circumflex over the a, the accent over the e, that adds a sense of mystique. Talia Lavin, Bon Appetit, "How to Make Pâté at Home and Be a Person Who Eats Liver," 15 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'circumflex.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of circumflex


circa 1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1609, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for circumflex


Latin circumflexus, past participle of circumflectere to bend around, mark with a circumflex, from circum- + flectere to bend

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Time Traveler for circumflex

Time Traveler

The first known use of circumflex was circa 1577

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Cite this Entry

“Circumflex.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 2020.

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English Language Learners Definition of circumflex

: a mark ˆ used in some languages (such as French) to show how a vowel should be pronounced


cir·​cum·​flex | \ ˈsər-kəm-ˌfleks How to pronounce circumflex (audio) \

Medical Definition of circumflex

of nerves and blood vessels
: bending around

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More from Merriam-Webster on circumflex

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with circumflex

Spanish Central: Translation of circumflex

Nglish: Translation of circumflex for Spanish Speakers

Comments on circumflex

What made you want to look up circumflex? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to help to grow, develop, or succeed

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