Definition of circumflex in English:


(also circumflex accent)

Pronunciation /ˈsərkəmˌfleks/ /ˈsərkəmˌflɛks/

Translate circumflex into Spanish


  • A mark (^) placed over a vowel in some languages to indicate contraction, length, or pitch or tone.

    ‘The evidence is that originally the German keyboard produced circumflexes instead of umlauts but it was replaced by an English keyboard.’
    • ‘The French have had a crack at reforming plurals and circumflexes.’
    • ‘Some speakers would give these words the circumflex, but it would be the rising circumflex, so that the sound would still terminate with the rising inflection.’
    • ‘Modern Greek also retains from the ancient language a system of three pitch accents: acute, circumflex and grave.’
    • ‘The 1740 edition of the dictionary of the Académie française altered the spelling of 36% of French words, chiefly replacing mute s by acute and circumflex accents.’
    • ‘There should be a circumflex accent on the ‘y’ of ‘Llýn ’, not an acute.’
    • ‘The modern French ‘notre dame’ does not carry a circumflex accent.’


  • Bending around something else; curved.

    ‘circumflex coronary arteries’
    • ‘4 left circumflex coronary arteries were affected.’
    • ‘The left circumflex coronary artery showed severe calcific atherosclerosis.’
    • ‘Although there is great individual variation, most people have three major coronary arteries: the right coronary artery, left anterior descending branch and left circumflex branch.’
    • ‘The left circumflex artery was 90% obstructed by a plaque at 2.8 cm from its origin.’
    • ‘The anterior and the posterior circumflex humeral arteries may be doubled.’


Late 16th century from Latin circumflexus (from circum ‘around, about’ + flectere ‘to bend’), translating Greek perispōmenos ‘drawn around’.