• WordNet 3.6
    • n circumflex a diacritical mark (^) placed above a vowel in some languages to indicate a special phonetic quality
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Circumflex A character, or accent, denoting in Greek a rise and of the voice on the same long syllable; and in Latin and some other languages, denoting a long and contracted syllable. See Accent n., 2.
    • Circumflex A wave of the voice embracing both a rise and fall or a fall and a rise on the same a syllable.
    • Circumflex (Anat) Curved circularly; -- applied to several arteries of the hip and thigh, to arteries, veins, and a nerve of the shoulder, and to other parts.
    • Circumflex Moving or turning round; circuitous.
    • v. t Circumflex To mark or pronounce with a circumflex.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • circumflex Moved or turned round.
    • circumflex Curved; winding about: used in anatomy in the specific description of several parts. See below.
    • circumflex Pronounced with or indicating the tone called circumflex.
    • circumflex Marked with the accentual sign designating such pronunciation.
    • circumflex Of the thigh, one of two branches, anterior and posterior, of the profunda femoris artery, supplying muscles of the thigh.
    • n circumflex A certain accent or tone of voice in the utterance of a syllable, consisting in a higher or acute tone followed by a lower or grave tone within the same syllable. This tone is recognized as belonging to certain syllables in Greek, in Latin, and in Sanskrit; in the first two languages it is limited to long vowels.
    • n circumflex The sign used to mark a vowel so accented. It is theoretically made by combining the sign for acute tone and that for grave, and has various forms, as ˆ, or ⌢, or ˜.
    • n circumflex The same mark (ˆ, ⌢, ˜) used as the sign of a long vowel in certain languages, and as a diacritical mark in phonetic notation.
    • n circumflex In elocution, a combined rising and falling or falling and rising inflection on a word or syllable, to express surprise, mockery, etc.
    • circumflex To pronounce with the accent or intonation called the circumflex.
    • circumflex To mark or designate with the sign of such accentuation.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Circumflex an accent (^) denoting a rising and falling of the voice on a vowel or syllable
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. circumflexus, a bending round, fr. circumflectere, circumflexum, to bend or turn about; circum + flectere, to bend. See Flexible
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. flectĕre, flexum, to bend.


In literature:

The grave accent is never noated, but onelie understood in al syllabes quherin the acute and circumflex is not.
"Of the Orthographie and Congruitie of the Britan Tongue" by Alexander Hume
A very common mistake in reading is to use the circumflex inflection in emphasizing a word, thus making a contrast where none is intended.
"The Ontario High School Reader" by A.E. Marty
It should be circumflex.
"Cobwebs from a Library Corner" by John Kendrick Bangs
Immediately her brows mutely circumflexed a question.
"Nobody" by Louis Joseph Vance
He would see three circumflex accents on the top of a vowel without lifting his eyebrows.
"John Bull, Junior" by Max O'Rell
A very common seat of neuralgia is also the shoulder, the affected nerves being the cutaneous branches of the circumflex.
"Neuralgia and the Diseases that Resemble it" by Francis E. Anstie