retroflex

adjective

ret·​ro·​flex ˈre-trə-ˌfleks How to pronounce retroflex (audio)
1
: turned or bent abruptly backward
2
: articulated with the tongue tip turned up or curled back just under the hard palate
retroflex vowel

Word History

Etymology

New Latin retroflexus, from Latin retro- + flexus, past participle of flectere to bend

First Known Use

1776, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of retroflex was in 1776

Dictionary Entries Near retroflex

Cite this Entry

“Retroflex.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retroflex. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

More from Merriam-Webster on retroflex

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ