[ sur-kuhm-fleks ]
/ ˈsɜr kəmˌflɛks /
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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.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of circumflex

1555–65; <Latin circumflexus, equivalent to circum-circum- + flexus, past participle of flectere to bend; see flex1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for circumflex

British Dictionary definitions for circumflex

/ (ˈsɜːkəmˌflɛks) /


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 of circumflex

circumflexion, noun

Word Origin for circumflex

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

Medical definitions for circumflex

[ sûrkəm-flĕks′ ]


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