diacritical

adjective

di·​a·​crit·​i·​cal ˌdī-ə-ˈkri-ti-kəl How to pronounce diacritical (audio)
variants or less commonly diacritic
1
: serving as a diacritic
2
a
: distinctive
the diacritical elements in culture S. F. Nadel
b
: capable of distinguishing
students of superior diacritical powers

Example Sentences

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.

Word History

Etymology

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 4 Dec. 2022.

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