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diacritic

[dahy-uh-krit-ik]
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noun
  1. Also called diacritical mark. a mark, point, or sign added or attached to a letter or character to distinguish it from another of similar form, to give it a particular phonetic value, to indicate stress, etc., as a cedilla, tilde, circumflex, or macron.
adjective
  1. diacritical.
  2. diagnostic.

Origin of diacritic

1670–80; < Greek diakritikós distinctive, equivalent to dia- dia- + kritikós; see critic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for diacritic

Historical Examples

  • Errors in German phrases and the diacritic of "Lige" were not corrected.

    Behind the Scenes in Warring Germany

    Edward Lyell Fox

  • A flat wick should be slightly rounded, the middle being the highest point, like this diacritic , not this one.

  • This script, with its diacritic marks, was scientifically evolved at the beginning of the nineteenth century.


British Dictionary definitions for diacritic

diacritic

noun
  1. Also called: diacritical mark a sign placed above or below a character or letter to indicate that it has a different phonetic value, is stressed, or for some other reason
adjective
  1. another word for diacritical

Word Origin

C17: from Greek diakritikos serving to distinguish, from diakrinein, from dia- + krinein to separate
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

Word Origin and History for diacritic

adj.

1690s, of sounds, from Greek diakritikos "that separates or distinguishes," from diakrinein "to separate one from another," from dia- (see dia-) + krinein "to separate, decide, judge" (see crisis). As a noun, from 1866. Related: Diacritical.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

diacritic in Medicine

diacritic

(dī′ə-krĭtĭk)
adj.
  1. Diagnostic or distinctive.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.