in·​flect in-ˈflekt How to pronounce inflect (audio)
inflected; inflecting; inflects

transitive verb

: to vary (a word) by inflection : decline, conjugate
: to change or vary the pitch of
inflect one's voice
: to affect or alter noticeably : influence
an approach inflected by feminism
: to turn from a direct line or course : curve

intransitive verb

: to become modified by inflection
inflectable adjective
inflective adjective

Examples of inflect in a Sentence

Most nouns in English are inflected for plural use by adding “-s” or “-es.” Most nouns in English inflect for plural use by adding “-s” or “-es.” Most adjectives in English do not inflect for gender or number.
Recent Examples on the Web Umbrellas and raincoats are ubiquitous; the drama involves the consequences and urgencies arising from leaky roofs, and the visible and audible beat of cars’ windshield wipers punctuates and inflects the action throughout like an additional musical score. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 25 Jan. 2024 Vanitha Swaminathan, a professor of marketing at the University of Pittsburgh who studies politically inflected advertising, said the marketing approach at Harry's stems in part from the company's pursuit of young consumers. Max Zahn, ABC News, 2 Nov. 2023 Throughout, intersections of race and class inflect the characters’ language and relationships. Amal El-Mohtar, New York Times, 13 Oct. 2023 In some cases, a narrator’s past work may inflect the listening experience. Paul Grimstad, The New Yorker, 11 Oct. 2023 McArthur, or a Spanish-speaking officiant, would run through a script, inflecting here, pausing there. Meg Bernhard, The New Yorker, 14 Sep. 2023 Even for those who can't tell a sconce from a suspender, the South Carolina native's sumptuous Slow Cal–inflected aesthetic is easy to spot, thanks to its surprise-and-delight intermixing of color, texture, and materiality along with an unwavering sense of place. Betsy Blumenthal, Condé Nast Traveler, 22 Aug. 2023 The track that Sachs uses does more than just inflect the sequence with its surprisingly extravagant expressivity. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 8 Aug. 2023 Basically Beethoven Festival concert, piano quartets by Mozart and Schumann got spirited but subtly inflected performances. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 4 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle English, from Latin inflectere, from in- + flectere to bend

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 4

Time Traveler
The first known use of inflect was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near inflect

Cite this Entry

“Inflect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​flect in-ˈflekt How to pronounce inflect (audio)
: to change a word by inflection
: to change the pitch of the voice

More from Merriam-Webster on inflect

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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