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cuneiform

[kyoo-nee-uh-fawrm, kyoo-nee-uh-]
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adjective
  1. having the form of a wedge; wedge-shaped.
  2. composed of slim triangular or wedge-shaped elements, as the characters used in writing by the ancient Akkadians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, and others.
  3. written in cuneiform characters: cuneiform inscription.
  4. Anatomy. noting or pertaining to any of various wedge-shaped bones, as of the tarsus.
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noun
  1. cuneiform characters or writing.
  2. a cuneiform bone.
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Also cuniform.

Origin of cuneiform

1670–80; < Latin cune(us) a wedge + -i- + -form
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

printhandwritingscriptcalligraphychirographyhandscrawlscribbleautographcuneiformshorthandhieroglyphicslonghandideographysymbology

Examples from the Web for cuneiform

Historical Examples

  • About the universe which I inhabited I knew as little as I did about cuneiform writings.

    A Labrador Doctor

    Wilfred Thomason Grenfell

  • The d of Dagon would be represented by d in cuneiform writing.

  • Keilschriften, p. 129; and the same author's Cuneiform Inscrip.

  • This account of Berosus is now confirmed by the cuneiform records.

  • Truly these cuneiform characters were strange and difficult to decipher!


British Dictionary definitions for cuneiform

cuneiform

adjective
  1. Also: cuneal wedge-shaped
  2. of, relating to, or denoting the wedge-shaped characters employed in the writing of several ancient languages of Mesopotamia and Persia, esp Sumerian, Babylonian, etc
  3. of or relating to a tablet in which this script is employed
  4. of or relating to any of the three tarsal bones
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noun
  1. cuneiform characters or writing
  2. any one of the three tarsal bones
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Word Origin

C17: probably from Old French cunéiforme, from Latin cuneus wedge
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 cuneiform

adj.

1670s, "wedge shaped," from French cunéiforme (16c.), from Latin cuneus "a wedge, wedge-shaped thing," of unknown origin, + French -forme (see form (n.)). Applied to characters in ancient Middle Eastern inscriptions made with wedge-shaped writing tools; first used in this sense by German physician and traveller Engelbert Kämpfer (1681-1716); in English from 1818. As a noun from 1862.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cuneiform in Medicine

cuneiform

(kyōōnē-ə-fôrm′, kyōō-nē-)
adj.
  1. Wedge-shaped.
  2. Of, relating to, or being a wedge-shaped bone or cartilage.
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n.
  1. A wedge-shaped bone, especially one of three such bones of the foot.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.