circumflex

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cir·cum·flex / ˈsərkəmˌfleks/ • n. (also circumflex accent) a mark (^) placed over a vowel in some languages to indicate contraction, length, or pitch or tone. • adj. Anat. bending around something else; curved: circumflex coronary arteries.

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CIRCUMFLEX. A DIACRITIC placed over vowel symbols. It has three possible forms: angled (∧), rounded (∩), or waved (˜). In classical Greek, the circumflex marks a rise/fall in pitch; in French, it may indicate vowel quality (often due to the loss of a phoneme or syllable). It occurs in English only in unaltered loans from French: gîte; dépˆt as opposed to depot. See ACCENT.

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circumflex XVI. — L. circumflexus (pp. of circumflectere bend round; cf. FLEX 1), tr. Gr. perispṓmenos drawn round, f. peri PERI- + spân draw (Cf. SPASM).