Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Wedge-shaped.
  • adj. Being a character or characters formed by the arrangement of small wedge-shaped elements and used in ancient Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian writing.
  • adj. Relating to, composed in, or using such characters.
  • adj. Anatomy Of, relating to, or being a wedge-shaped bone or cartilage.
  • n. Writing typified by the use of characters formed by the arrangement of small wedge-shaped elements.
  • n. Anatomy A wedge-shaped bone, especially one of three such bones in the tarsus of the foot.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having the form of a wedge; wedge-shaped.
  • adj. Written in the cuneiform writing system.
  • adj. Relating to, or versed in, the ancient cuneiform writing system or its inscriptions.
  • n. An ancient Mesopotamian writing system, adapted within several language families, originating as pictograms in Sumer around the 30th century BC, evolving into more abstract and characteristic wedge shapes formed by a blunt reed stylus on clay tablets.
  • n. A wedge-shaped bone, especially a cuneiform bone.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Wedge-shaped; ; -- especially applied to the wedge-shaped or arrowheaded characters of ancient Persian and Assyrian inscriptions. See arrowheaded.
  • adj. Pertaining to, or versed in, the ancient wedge-shaped characters, or the inscriptions in them.
  • n. The wedge-shaped characters used in ancient Persian and Assyrian inscriptions.
  • n.
  • n. One of the three tarsal bones supporting the first, second third metatarsals. They are usually designated as external, middle, and internal, or ectocuniform, mesocuniform, and entocuniform, respectively.
  • n. One of the carpal bones usually articulating with the ulna; -- called also pyramidal and ulnare.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having the shape or form of a wedge; cuneate.
  • In entomology, said of parts or joints which are attached by a thin but broad base, and thicken gradually to a suddenly truncated apex, In anatomy, applied to certain wedge-shaped carpal and tarsal bones. See phrases below.
  • Occupied with or versed in the wedge-shaped characters, or the inscriptions written in them: as, “a cuneiform scholar,”
  • n. A cuneiform bone: as, the three cuneiforms of the foot.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. shaped like a wedge
  • n. an ancient wedge-shaped script used in Mesopotamia and Persia
  • adj. of or relating to the tarsal bones (or other wedge-shaped bones)

Etymologies

Latin cuneus, wedge + -form.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French cunéiforme or New Latin cuneiformis, from Classical Latin cuneus ("wedge") + -iform. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Round-stylus and sharp-stylus writing was gradually replaced by writing using a wedge-shaped stylus (hence the term cuneiform), at first only for logograms, but evolved to include phonetic elements by the

    Propeller Most Popular Stories

  • Insist on keeping your secret cookie recipes written in cuneiform?

    Five Best Recipe Managers | Lifehacker Australia

  • (On the "Cyrus Cylinder," the Persian King inscribed in cuneiform the world's first known "Charter of Human Rights.")

    Richard C. Morais: What Steve Forbes's Books Teach Us

  • The shape of these signs is that of a wedge, hence the name cuneiform (from the Latin cuneus, "a wedge").

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 2: Assizes-Browne

  • Nor must we forget the additional testimony of three clay cylinders of Nebuchadnezzar, inscribed in cuneiform characters, and now in the National Egyptian Museum.

    Pharaohs, Fellahs and Explorers

  • What we call cuneiform is essentially a cursive hand.

    Babylonians and Assyrians, Life and Customs

  • Barnes makes it the candlestick taken from the temple of Jerusalem, the nearness of the writing to it intimating that the rebuke was directed against the sacrilege. upon the plaster of the wall of the king's palace -- Written in cuneiform letters on slabs on the walls, and on the very bricks, are found the perpetually recurring recital of titles, victories, and exploits, to remind the spectator at every point of the regal greatness.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • This first writing system, cuneiform -- from the Latin word cuneus, for wedge -- was invented by the region's first powerful culture, the non-Semitic Sumerians, during the fourth millennium BC.

    Chicago Reader

  • On the outside of the door was an inscription in Persian cuneiform that the priest interpreted for Alexander:

    Alexander the Great

  • The script, called cuneiform, marked the beginning of the long history of Western writing systems, and it is wonderfully ironic to think that literature was thus a by-product of a numerical notation.

    HERE’S LOOKING AT EUCLID

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.