[ re-truh-fleks ]
/ ˈrɛ trəˌflɛks /


bent backward; exhibiting retroflexion.
Phonetics. articulated with the tip of the tongue curled upward and back against or near the juncture of the hard and soft palates; cacuminal; cerebral; coronal.
Also ret·ro·flexed [re-truh-flekst] /ˈrɛ trəˌflɛkst/.

Origin of retroflex

First recorded in 1910–15, retroflex is from the Latin word retrōflexus (past participle of retrōflectere to bend back). See retro-, flex1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for retroflex

British Dictionary definitions for retroflex



/ (ˈrɛtrəʊˌflɛks) /


bent or curved backwards
phonetics of, relating to, or involving retroflexion

Word Origin for retroflex

C18: from Latin retrōflexus, from retrōflectere, from retro- + 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

Word Origin and History for retroflex



1776, from Modern Latin retroflexus, past participle of retroflectere "to bend back," from retro (see retro-) + flectere "to bend" (see flexible). The verb (1898) is a back-formation from retroflexed (1806), from the adjective.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper