1375–1425; late Middle English inflecten < Latin inflectere to bend in, equivalent to in- in-2 + flectere to bend, curve; cf. flex1 (Source:

Late Middle English (in inflect (sense 3)): from Latin inflectere, from in- ‘into’ + flectere ‘to bend’. (Source:

Definitions of Inflect


verb (used with object)

  1. to modulate (the voice).
  2. Grammar. to apply inflection to (a word). to recite or display all or a distinct set of the inflections of (a word); decline or conjugate.
  3. to bend; turn from a direct line or course.
  4. Botany. to bend in.


verb (used without object)

  1. Grammar. to be characterized by inflection.



  1. (grammar) to change (the form of a word) or (of a word) to change in form by inflection
  2. (tr) to change (the voice) in tone or pitch; modulate
  3. (tr) to cause to deviate from a straight or normal line or course; bend



  1. Change the form of (a word) to express a particular grammatical function or attribute, typically tense, mood, person, number, and gender.
  2. Vary the intonation or pitch of (the voice), especially to express mood or feeling.
  3. Bend or deflect (something), especially inwards.



  1. : to vary (a word) by inflection : decline, conjugate
  2. : to change or vary the pitch of inflect one's voice
  3. : to affect or alter noticeably : influence an approach inflected by feminism
  4. : to turn from a direct line or course : curve
  5. : to become modified by inflection

Example sentences for Inflect

  1. (e) To memorize words and to learn to inflect them, before memorizing and learning how to construct sentences.
  2. And we yet retain an objective case of the pronoun, and inflect it for person, number and gender.
  3. Can you so inflect "sprawling in want" and "sitting high" as to suggest a swamp and a mountain-top, or a frog and an angel?
  4. Now it would have been absurd to inflect a long English lesson.

Related words & Synonyms

differ, divide, modify, diverge, range, diversify, fluctuate, alter, vent, deliver, articulate, tell, assert, say, emphasize, utter, announce, proclaim, declare, present

Nearby words

inflationary gap , inflationary spiral , inflationary universe , inflationism , inflationist , inflection , inflection point , inflectional , inflexed , inflexible

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