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[in-flekt] /ɪnˈflɛkt/
verb (used with object)
to modulate (the voice).
  1. to apply inflection to (a word).
  2. to recite or display all or a distinct set of the inflections of (a word); decline or conjugate.
to bend; turn from a direct line or course.
Botany. to bend in.
verb (used without object)
Grammar. to be characterized by inflection.
Origin of inflect
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English inflecten < Latin inflectere to bend in, equivalent to in- in-2 + flectere to bend, curve; cf. flex1
Related forms
inflectedness, noun
inflective, adjective
inflector, noun
noninflected, adjective
uninflected, adjective
uninflective, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for uninflected
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was scarcely a question; Cloud's voice was level, uninflected.

    The Vortex Blaster Edward Elmer Smith
  • The Rubric, therefore, ordered that the Lessons should be said to uninflected song.

    Rites and Ritual Philip Freeman
  • It is, as has been previously shown, uninflected in the genitive or possessive case.

  • She stopped when she saw who it was, and spoke in the dead, uninflected voice of a person in extremity.

    The Sleuth of St. James's Square Melville Davisson Post
  • All other adjectives are uninflected in the singular: the termination in all cases of the pl.

  • But in this age of uninflected speech the louder the click of the type-machine the better the style.

    Unicorns James Huneker
  • In uninflected languages, like English and Chinese, there is nothing but the order of the words to distinguish their functions.

    Instigations Ezra Pound
  • These are properly the only degrees, though the simple, uninflected form is usually called the positive degree.

    An English Grammar W. M. Baskervill and J. W. Sewell
  • Again Mrs. Bindle's hard, uninflected words sounded like the accents of destiny.

    Mrs. Bindle Hebert Jenkins
British Dictionary definitions for uninflected


(grammar) to change (the form of a word) or (of a word) to change in form by inflection
(transitive) to change (the voice) in tone or pitch; modulate
(transitive) to cause to deviate from a straight or normal line or course; bend
Derived Forms
inflectedness, noun
inflective, adjective
inflector, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin inflectere to curve round, alter, from 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 uninflected

1713, from un- (1) "not" + past participle of inflect.



early 15c., "to bend inward," from Latin inflectere (past participle inflexus) "to bend in, bow, curve," figuratively, "to change," from in- "in" (see in- (1)) + flectere "to bend" (see flexible). Grammatical sense is attested 1660s; pronunciation sense (in inflection) is c.1600. Related: Inflected; inflecting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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