di·​a·​crit·​i·​cal ˌdī-ə-ˈkri-ti-kəl How to pronounce diacritical (audio)
variants or less commonly diacritic
: serving as a diacritic
: distinctive
the diacritical elements in cultureS. F. Nadel
: capable of distinguishing
students of superior diacritical powers

Examples of diacritical in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And diacritical marks aren't permitted in California though there has been legislation introduced recently to change this. Anna Halkidis, Parents, 29 Jan. 2024 Editor’s note: Chron recognizes the importance of diacritical marks in the Hawaiian language. Lori A. May, Chron, 19 Mar. 2023 As a result, the Calligrapher.ai handwriting synthesis model is heavily tuned toward English-language writing, and people on Hacker News have reported trouble reproducing diacritical marks that are commonly found in other languages. Benj Edwards, Ars Technica, 26 Jan. 2023 Sometimes, but not always, the vowels are indicated by diacritical marks. Cody Cottier, Discover Magazine, 18 Nov. 2021 The diacritical marks help readers distinguish between words that would otherwise look identical. Los Angeles Times, 20 May 2021 Both systems can be supplemented with diacritical marks that modify pronunciation and meaning. The Economist, 3 Oct. 2019

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

Word History


Greek diakritikos separative, from diakrinein to distinguish, from dia- + krinein to separate — more at certain

First Known Use

1749, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of diacritical was in 1749

Dictionary Entries Near diacritical

Cite this Entry

“Diacritical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diacritical. Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

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