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[sur-kuh m-fleks] /ˈsɜr kəmˌflɛks/
consisting of, indicated by, or bearing the mark ^, ˘, or ~, placed over a vowel symbol in some languages to show that the vowel or the syllable containing it is pronounced in a certain way, as, in French, that the vowel so marked is of a certain quality and long, in Albanian, that the vowel is nasalized and stressed, or, in Classical Greek, that the syllable bears the word accent and is pronounced, according to the ancient grammarians, with a rise and fall in pitch.
pronounced with or characterized by the quality, quantity, stress, or pitch indicated by such a mark.
bending or winding around.
a circumflex mark or accent.
verb (used with object)
to bend around.
Origin of circumflex
1555-65; < Latin circumflexus, equivalent to circum- circum- + flexus, past participle of flectere to bend; see flex1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for circumflex
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British Dictionary definitions for circumflex


a mark (^) placed over a vowel to show that it is pronounced with rising and falling pitch, as in ancient Greek, as a long vowel rather than a short one, as in French, or with some other different quality
(of certain nerves, arteries, or veins) bending or curving around
Derived Forms
circumflexion, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin circumflexus, from circumflectere to bend around, from circum- + flectere to bend
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for circumflex

1570s, from Latin (accentus) circumflexus, "bent around," past participle of circumflectere "to bend around," of a charioteer, "turn around" (from circum "around;" see circum-, + flectere "to bend;" see flexible); used as a loan-translation of Greek (prosodia) perispomenos (Dionysius of Halicarnassus), literally "drawn-around," with reference to shape.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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circumflex in Medicine

circumflex cir·cum·flex (sûr'kəm-flěks')

  1. Curving or bending around.

  2. Bowed.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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