[ in-flekt ]
/ ɪnˈflɛkt /

verb (used with object)

to alter, adapt, or modulate (the voice).
to alter or adapt in tone or character: the power of storytelling inflected through a feminist sensibility; jazz-inflected music.
  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.



Even if you can't be a professional chef, you can at least talk like one with this vocabulary quiz.
Question 1 of 9
You may have read the word "simmer" in a recipe or two, but what does it really mean?

Origin of inflect

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English inflecten, from Latin inflectere “to bend in,” equivalent to in-in-2 + flectere “to bend, curve”; cf. flex1

OTHER WORDS FROM inflect Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for inflect

  • (e) To memorize words and to learn to inflect them, before memorizing and learning how to construct sentences.

  • And we yet retain an objective case of the pronoun, and inflect it for person, number and gender.

    The American Language|Henry L. Mencken
  • Can you so inflect "sprawling in want" and "sitting high" as to suggest a swamp and a mountain-top, or a frog and an angel?

    Vocal Expression|Katherine Jewell Everts
  • Now it would have been absurd to inflect a long English lesson.

    Rites and Ritual|Philip Freeman

British Dictionary definitions for inflect

/ (ɪnˈflɛkt) /


(grammar) to change (the form of a word) or (of a word) to change in form by inflection
(tr) to change (the voice) in tone or pitch; modulate
(tr) to cause to deviate from a straight or normal line or course; bend

Derived forms of inflect

inflectedness, nouninflective, adjectiveinflector, noun

Word Origin for inflect

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