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

Examples of cuneiform in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The bull’s return to Iraq follows a high-profile restitution to the country in June, when Italy handed a tablet engraved with cuneiform text and the insignia of the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III, Ashurnasirpal II’s successor, to Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid during a state visit to Italy. James Imam, CNN, 13 Feb. 2024 The next-earliest description of a candidate aurora is found on Assyrian cuneiform tablets dated between 679-655 BCE, three centuries later. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 1 Jan. 2023 From cuneiform clay tablets to computer keyboards, the writing process has changed very little for thousands of years. Christopher Soto, Los Angeles Times, 23 Aug. 2023 One station shows children how artists use clay, metal and wood by displaying images of objects from the museum’s collection, such as a cuneiform tablet and an 18th-century British teapot decorated with images of fossils, as Hyperallergic’s Elaine Velie reports. Teresa Nowakowski, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Sep. 2023 Its cuneiform writing system used an alphabet of sharp, intersecting triangular figures. Rachel Shin, Fortune, 5 July 2023 This inscription played a key role in deciphering cuneiform writing. Sean Mowbray, Discover Magazine, 4 Nov. 2022 Twenty-two years into the Esprit's life, Lotus has finally fitted this cuneiform conundrum with an alloy powerplant of appropriate snootiness: four camshafts, 32 valves, eight cylinders, two Garrett T25 turbochargers, and a flat-plane crankshaft. John Phillips, Car and Driver, 8 Aug. 2023 Green is creating a permanent, public home for his collection of handwritten scrolls, rare books and ancient cuneiform tablets the family has amassed over the decades. Forbes Wealth Team, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cuneiform.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 25 Feb. 2024.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on cuneiform

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