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A diacritic (or diacritical mark) is a mark added to a letter, usually to indicate a specific pronunciation of that letter.
Of the various languages using the Latin alphabet, English is one of the few that generally does not use diacritical marks. Those words that do contain them are typically foreign loanwords whose diacritics have been retained in English. The most common of these that appear in English are known as accents (either acute, as in café, or grave, as in vis-à-vis).
There are, however, a few diacritics that are used in native English words.
2. Medicine Diagnostic or distinctive.
A mark, such as the cedilla of façade or the acute accent of résumé, added to a letter to indicate a special phonetic value or distinguish words that are otherwise graphically identical.
(Phonetics & Phonology) Also called: diacritical mark a sign placed above or below a character or letter to indicate that it has a different phonetic value, is stressed, or for some other reason
(Phonetics & Phonology) another word for diacritical
[C17: from Greek diakritikos serving to distinguish, from diakrinein, from dia- + krinein to separate]
di•a•crit•ic(ˌdaɪ əˈkrɪt ɪk)
1. Also called diacrit′ical mark′. a mark, point, or sign, as a cedilla, tilde, circumflex, or macron, added or attached to a letter, as to distinguish it from another of similar form, to give it a particular phonetic value, or to indicate stress.adj.
[1670–80; < Greek diakritikós separating]
diacritic- From Greek diakrinein, "distinguish from," it denotes marks or signs that distinguish different values or sounds (pronunciations) of a letter.
See also related terms for signs.
A mark attached to a letter to show a modification of sound or stress.
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|Noun||1.||diacritic - a mark added to a letter to indicate a special pronunciation|
mark - a written or printed symbol (as for punctuation); "his answer was just a punctuation mark"
accent mark, accent - a diacritical mark used to indicate stress or placed above a vowel to indicate a special pronunciation
breve - a diacritical mark (U-shaped) placed over a vowel to indicate a short sound
cedilla - a diacritical mark (,) placed below the letter c to indicate that it is pronounced as an s
circumflex - a diacritical mark (^) placed above a vowel in some languages to indicate a special phonetic quality
hacek, wedge - a diacritical mark (an inverted circumflex) placed above certain letters (such as the letter c) to indicate pronunciation
macron - a diacritical mark (-) placed above a vowel to indicate a long sound
tilde - a diacritical mark (~) placed over the letter n in Spanish to indicate a palatal nasal sound or over a vowel in Portuguese to indicate nasalization
|Adj.||1.||diacritic - capable of distinguishing; "students having superior diacritic powers"; "the diacritic elements in culture"- S.F.Nadel|
discriminating - showing or indicating careful judgment and discernment especially in matters of taste; "the discriminating eye of the connoisseur"