um·​laut | \ ˈüm-ˌlau̇t How to pronounce umlaut (audio) , ˈu̇m- How to pronounce umlaut (audio) \

Definition of umlaut

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a diacritical mark ¨ placed over a vowel to indicate a more central or front articulation — compare diaeresis
2a : the change of a vowel (such as \ü\ to \ē\ in goose, geese) that is caused by partial assimilation to a succeeding sound or that occurs as a reflex of the former presence of a succeeding sound which has been lost or altered
b : a vowel resulting from such partial assimilation


umlauted; umlauting; umlauts

Definition of umlaut (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to produce by umlaut
2 : to write or print an umlaut over

Examples of umlaut in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The pull of the umlaut-laden product names is too strong to deny. Beth Spotswood,, "At least no assembly’s required for forgettable IKEA all-you-can-eat deal," 19 June 2018 Linguists, who had recommended that the new writing system follow the example of Turkish, which uses umlauts and other phonetic markers instead of apostrophes, protested that the president’s approach would be ugly and imprecise. Andrew Higgins, New York Times, "Kazakhstan Cheers New Alphabet, Except for All Those Apostrophes," 15 Jan. 2018 Since Proposition 83, a measure approved by voters in 1983 to make English the state’s official language, diacritical marks — such as accents (è or á), umlauts (ö or ü) and tildes (ñ or ã) — on vital records were deemed unacceptable., "Vice President Pence pledges support from federal government for California wildfires," 9 Oct. 2017 But Phil doesn’t have an exploding head and a double umlaut. Susan Steade, The Mercury News, "Burning of the Böögg: Groundhog Day meets Mr. Bill," 24 Apr. 2017 These wines are too thrilling, too delicious and too versatile with food to allow us to be deterred by a bunch of umlauts. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "WINE SCHOOL," 27 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'umlaut.' 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 umlaut


circa 1845, in the meaning defined at sense 2a


1879, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for umlaut


German, from um- around, transforming + Laut sound

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Dictionary Entries near umlaut





umlaut vowel

Umm al Qaywayn


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Time Traveler for umlaut

The first known use of umlaut was circa 1845

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English Language Learners Definition of umlaut

: a mark ¨ placed over a vowel (such as a u in German) to indicate a specific pronunciation

More from Merriam-Webster on umlaut

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with umlaut Encyclopedia article about umlaut

Comments on umlaut

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behavior toward others

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