di·​a·​crit·​i·​cal | \ ˌdī-ə-ˈkri-ti-kəl How to pronounce diacritical (audio) \
variants: or less commonly diacritic \ ˌdī-​ə-​ˈkri-​tik How to pronounce diacritical (audio) \

Definition of diacritical

1 : serving as a diacritic
2a : distinctive the diacritical elements in culture— S. F. Nadel
b : capable of distinguishing students of superior diacritical powers

Examples of diacritical in a Sentence

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

First Known Use of diacritical

1749, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for diacritical

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

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The first known use of diacritical was in 1749

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Cite this Entry

“Diacritical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diacritical. Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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