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

Definition of inflect

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to become modified by inflection

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Other Words from inflect

inflectable \ in-​ˈflek-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce inflectable (audio) \ adjective
inflective \ in-​ˈflek-​tiv How to pronounce inflective (audio) \ 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Unlike Mandarin, Arabic is inflected for gender, and Chinese dealers, who learn the language strictly by ear, often pick up speech patterns from female customers. Peter Hessler, Time, "The Case for Embracing Linguistic Identities," 27 June 2019 Thomas’s rightward drift, which began in the seventies, was inflected by the very ethos that once put him on the left: namely, disaffection with black liberalism and the mainstream civil-rights movement. Corey Robin, The New Yorker, "Clarence Thomas’s Radical Vision of Race," 21 June 2019 Articles, demonstrative, and adjectives all inflected for case in Old English, so English speakers a few hundred years ago would have found German pretty simple. Michelle Sheehan, Quartz, "Five reasons English speakers struggle to learn other languages," 3 July 2019 Hanna Hur’s paintings, drawings and sculptures at Bel Ami bend some of the most rigorous formal traditions in Western art to the service of spirituality inflected with Korean shamanism. Sharon Mizota,, "Art as a portal to Korean ancestors? The mesmerizing work of Hanna Hur," 1 July 2019 At dinner, Mary Louise delivers a speech—inflected with her understanding of masculinity—to her grandchildren about feeling angry that their father’s not alive when lesser men (in her opinion, anyway) have survived. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "Why Meryl Streep’s Sly Matriarch Works So Well on Big Little Lies," 11 June 2019 In this case, no user intervention, such as a prompt to click on a link, was required for an iPhone to get inflected. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "Hackers breached iPhones for years, Google says," 30 Aug. 2019 Some avoid gender altogether, some gender just the pronouns, others inflect the nouns, too. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "Actually, Gender-Neutral Pronouns Can Change a Culture," 15 Aug. 2019 Oversight: One big risk — so big, in fact, that it could be considered a meta-risk that inflects all the rest — is the lack of existing regulation in this space. Sigal Samuel, Vox, "Facebook is building tech to read your mind. The ethical implications are staggering.," 5 Aug. 2019

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

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First Known Use of inflect

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for inflect

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

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Statistics for inflect

Last Updated

17 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inflect

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

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More Definitions for inflect



English Language Learners Definition of inflect

grammar : to change the form of a word when using it in a particular way


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

Kids Definition of inflect

1 : to change a word by inflection
2 : to change the pitch of the voice

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More from Merriam-Webster on inflect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inflect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inflect

Spanish Central: Translation of inflect

Nglish: Translation of inflect for Spanish Speakers

Comments on inflect

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