inflection

noun in·flec·tion \ in-ˈflek-shən \
Updated on: 14 Nov 2017

Definition of inflection

1 : the act or result of curving or bending : bend
2 : change in pitch or loudness of the voice
3 a : 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
4 a : change in curvature of an arc or curve from concave to convex or conversely

Examples of inflection in a Sentence

  1. She spoke with no inflection.

  2. She read the lines with an upward inflection.

  3. Most English adjectives do not require inflection.

  4. “Gone” and “went” are inflections of the verb “go.”

  5. English has fewer inflections than many other languages.

Recent Examples of inflection from the Web

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.

Did You Know?

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.

First Known Use of inflection

1531

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms


INFLECTION Defined for English Language Learners

inflection

noun

Definition of inflection for English Language Learners

  • : a rise or fall in the sound of a person's voice : a change in the pitch or tone of a person's voice

  • grammar : a change in the form of a word that occurs when it has a particular use

  • : a form of a word that occurs when it has a particular use : an inflected form


INFLECTION Defined for Kids

inflection

noun in·flec·tion \ in-ˈflek-shən \

Definition of inflection for Students

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)

Medical Dictionary

inflection

noun in·flec·tion
variants: or chiefly British inflexion play \in-ˈflek-shən\

medical Definition of inflection

: the act or result of curving or bending


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