[ uhn-shee-uh l, -shuh l ]
/ ˈʌn ʃi əl, -ʃəl /


designating, written in, or pertaining to a form of majuscule writing having a curved or rounded shape and used chiefly in Greek and Latin manuscripts from about the 3rd to the 9th century a.d.


an uncial letter.
uncial writing.
a manuscript written in uncials.

Origin of uncial

1640–50; < Late Latin unciālēs (litterae) (Jerome) uncial (letters), plural of Latin unciālis weighing one twelfth of a libra (see uncia, -al1); literal sense is unclear

Related forms

un·ci·al·ly, adverb
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Examples from the Web for uncial

British Dictionary definitions for uncial


/ (ˈʌnsɪəl) /


of, relating to, or written in majuscule letters, as used in Greek and Latin manuscripts of the third to ninth centuries, that resemble modern capitals, but are characterized by much greater curvature and inclination and general inequality of height
pertaining to an inch or an ounce
pertaining to the duodecimal system


an uncial letter or manuscript

Derived Forms

uncially, adverb

Word Origin for uncial

C17: from Late Latin unciāles litterae letters an inch long, from Latin unciālis, from uncia one twelfth, inch, ounce 1
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