cuneiform

1 of 2

adjective

cu·​ne·​i·​form kyü-ˈnē-ə-ˌfȯrm How to pronounce cuneiform (audio) ˈkyü-n(ē-)ə- How to pronounce cuneiform (audio)
1
: having the shape of a wedge
2
: composed of or written in wedge-shaped characters
cuneiform syllabary

cuneiform

2 of 2

noun

1
: a cuneiform part
specifically : a cuneiform bone or cartilage
2
: cuneiform writing

Illustration of cuneiform

Illustration of cuneiform
  • cuneiform 2

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Examples of cold storage in the ancient world include cuneiform tablets, etched in clay by Sumerians 5,000 years ago, or the quipu, the fabric computers of Andean civilizations, both of which have remarkably survived into the present. Steven Gonzalez Monserrate, WIRED, 15 Nov. 2022 Smith was a young working-class Londoner who had taught himself to read cuneiform during his lunch hours while employed as an engraver at a printing firm in the 1860s. Robert Macfarlane, The New York Review of Books, 5 Oct. 2022 This history of daily life in the ancient Near East draws on three thousand years of cuneiform records, from 3500 B.C.E. to 323 B.C.E., across parts of present-day Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. The New Yorker, 19 Sep. 2022 The research team found ceramic vessels reportedly containing more than 100 cuneiform tablets. Kevin Simauchi, oregonlive, 14 Aug. 2022 The research team found ceramic vessels reportedly containing more than 100 cuneiform tablets. Kevin Simauchi, oregonlive, 14 Aug. 2022 The research team found ceramic vessels reportedly containing more than 100 cuneiform tablets. Kevin Simauchi, oregonlive, 14 Aug. 2022 The dig at Kemune also uncovered five ceramic vessels that contained more than 100 tablets inscribed with cuneiform script. Denise Chow, NBC News, 2 June 2022 Many writing systems, including cuneiform and Mandarin Chinese, originated with pictograms. WIRED, 11 Sep. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

probably from French cunéiforme, from Middle French, from Latin cuneus + Middle French -iforme -iform

First Known Use

Adjective

1677, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1808, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cuneiform was in 1677

Dictionary Entries Near cuneiform

Cite this Entry

“Cuneiform.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cuneiform. Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

cuneiform 1 of 2

adjective

cu·​ne·​i·​form kyu̇-ˈnē-ə-ˌfȯrm How to pronounce cuneiform (audio) ˈkyü-n(ē-)ə- How to pronounce cuneiform (audio)
1
: having the shape of a wedge
2
: made up of or written with marks or letters shaped like wedges

cuneiform

2 of 2

noun

: cuneiform writing

Medical Definition

cuneiform 1 of 2

adjective

cu·​ne·​i·​form kyu̇-ˈnē-ə-ˌfȯrm How to pronounce cuneiform (audio) ˈkyü-n(ē-)ə- How to pronounce cuneiform (audio)
1
: of, relating to, or being a cuneiform bone or cartilage
2
of a human skull : wedge-shaped as viewed from above

cuneiform

2 of 2

noun

: a cuneiform bone or cartilage

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