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 Among the #SquawktheVote name choices: Polka, Cream Puff, Brandy, Gemütlichkeit spelled the correct way with an umlaut, Kringle, Tailgate, Tundra, Bubbler (WaterFountain is not on the list, maybe that's a choice in Illinois?) and Cheesy. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "They're here! We Energies peregrine falcon cam shows first chicks of 2020 have hatched in Milwaukee," 3 May 2020 Perhaps even more than umlauts, this reputation for sweetness is why many people don't drink traditional German riesling. Jason Wilson,, "German wine finds its sweet spot," 17 Sep. 2019 Back to back clean sheets away from home, a goal against Crystal Palace, three umlauts in his surname alone, looks like Lord Farquaad out of Shrek., "90min's Definitive European Player Power Rankings: Week 12," 4 Nov. 2019 The umlaut-free car-sharing service Uber, originally known as UberCab, is a related development, hinting at Silicon Valley fantasies of world domination. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Nietzsche’s Eternal Return," 7 Oct. 2019 Yes, with an umlaut, though SNI is based in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia. Karen Heller, The Know, "We need the travel pillow. But we hate the travel pillow.," 15 Sep. 2019 Yes, with an umlaut, though SNI is based in Bensalem, Pa., outside Philadelphia. Karen Heller, Washington Post, "We need the travel pillow. But we hate the travel pillow.," 9 Sep. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for umlaut

Time Traveler

The first known use of umlaut was circa 1845

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Cite this Entry

“Umlaut.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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

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