inflection

noun
in·​flec·​tion | \ in-ˈflek-shən How to pronounce inflection (audio) \

Definition of inflection

1 : change in pitch or loudness of the voice
2a : the change of form that words undergo to mark such distinctions as those of case, gender, number, tense, person, mood, or voice
b : a form, suffix, or element involved in such variation
c : accidence
3 : the act or result of curving or bending : bend
4a : change in curvature of an arc or curve from concave to convex or conversely

Synonyms for inflection

Synonyms

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Changing the pitch, tone, or loudness of our words are ways we communicate meaning in speech, though not on the printed page. A rising inflection at the end of a sentence generally indicates a question, and a falling inflection indicates a statement, for example. Another way of inflecting words is by adding endings: -s to make a noun plural, -ed to put a verb in the past tense, -er to form the comparative form of an adjective, and so on.

Examples of inflection in a Sentence

She spoke with no inflection. She read the lines with an upward inflection. Most English adjectives do not require inflection. “Gone” and “went” are inflections of the verb “go.” English has fewer inflections than many other languages.
Recent Examples on the Web There is so much compelling detail in the story of how stewardesses became flight attendants, how the field was opened to men and equalized for all, that the timeline of these inflection points gets lost in the telling. Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2022 Conclusions Successions, political or in business, are often found at pivotal moments or inflection points. Radu Magdin, Forbes, 25 Apr. 2022 Nobody knows for sure what the future holds, but the market tumult of early 2022 might mark one of those inflection points when certain industries, sectors and investment themes rotate in or out of favor. Russ Wiles, USA TODAY, 15 Feb. 2022 Nobody knows for sure what the future holds, but the market tumult of early 2022 might mark one of those inflection points when certain industries, sectors and investment themes rotate in or out of favor. Russ Wiles, USA TODAY, 15 Feb. 2022 Similar inflection points have become a mid-session phenomenon in Montgomery. al, 5 Apr. 2022 Nobody knows for sure what the future holds, but the market tumult of early 2022 might mark one of those inflection points when certain industries, sectors and investment themes rotate in or out of favor. Russ Wiles, USA TODAY, 15 Feb. 2022 Nobody knows for sure what the future holds, but the market tumult of early 2022 might mark one of those inflection points when certain industries, sectors and investment themes rotate in or out of favor. Russ Wiles, USA TODAY, 15 Feb. 2022 Nobody knows for sure what the future holds, but the market tumult of early 2022 might mark one of those inflection points when certain industries, sectors and investment themes rotate in or out of favor. Russ Wiles, USA TODAY, 15 Feb. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of inflection

1531, in the meaning defined at sense 3

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Time Traveler for inflection

Time Traveler

The first known use of inflection was in 1531

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Dictionary Entries Near inflection

inflect

inflection

inflectional

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Statistics for inflection

Last Updated

1 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Inflection.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inflection. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for inflection

inflection

noun
in·​flec·​tion | \ in-ˈflek-shən How to pronounce inflection (audio) \

Kids Definition of inflection

1 : a change in the pitch of a person's voice
2 : a change in a word that shows a grammatical difference (as of number, person, or tense)

inflection

noun
in·​flec·​tion
variants: or chiefly British inflexion \ in-​ˈflek-​shən How to pronounce inflection (audio) \

Medical Definition of inflection

: the act or result of curving or bending

More from Merriam-Webster on inflection

Nglish: Translation of inflection for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inflection for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about inflection

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