- the process or device of adding affixes to or changing the shape of a base to give it a different syntactic function without changing its form class.
- the paradigm of a word.
- a single pattern of formation of a paradigm: noun inflection; verb inflection.
- the change in the shape of a word, generally by affixation, by means of which a change of meaning or relationship to some other word or group of words is indicated.
- the affix added to produce this change, as the -s in dogs or the -ed in played.
- the systematic description of such processes in a given language, as in serves from serve, sings from sing, and harder from hard (contrasted with derivation).
Origin of inflection
Related Words for inflectiontimbre, pronunciation, articulation, sound, enunciation, tone, modulation, variation, emphasis, pitch, tonality, change
Examples from the Web for inflection
Contemporary Examples of inflection
For a president who believes in playing the long game, this was an inflection point.Congress Cooperates, Obama Pushes Hard, and Closing Gitmo Has a Chance
December 12, 2013
In each role he seemed to be behaving, not acting; every gesture and inflection was instinctive.River Phoenix’s Fatal Halloween, 20 Years On
October 31, 2013
With the spoken word, we use our tone, inflection and volume to question, exclaim and convey our feelings.The Rise and Fall of the Infamous SarcMark
September 24, 2013
And that truth encapsulates the inflection point now upon us.The End of U.S. Imperium—Finally!
September 3, 2013
“The president sees this as an inflection point in the war, and that is reflected in these policies,” says a top Obama adviser.Obama: I Make the Drone Decisions
May 23, 2013
Historical Examples of inflection
Somehow, the inflection on the last word did not altogether suggest the ingenuous.
The forger repeated the words with an inflection that was gloating.
I must have imagined the pause, the inflection; but he has me under surveillance.The Bacillus of Beauty
"Yes, you will," Adams returned, not noticing that his son's inflection was satiric.Alice Adams
He spoke in a deep bass rumble, without emotion or inflection.Slaves of Mercury
A change in the form of a word to reflect different grammatical functions of the word in a sentence. English has lost most of its inflections. Those that remain are chiefly possessive ('s), as in “the boy's hat”; plural (-s), as in “the three girls”; and past tense (-d or -ed), as in cared. Other inflections are found in pronouns — as in he, him, his — and in irregular words such as think/thought, child/children, and mouse/mice.