Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To alter (the voice) in tone or pitch; modulate.
  • transitive v. Grammar To alter (a word) by inflection.
  • transitive v. To turn from a course or a specified alignment; bend.
  • intransitive v. Grammar To be modified by inflection.
  • intransitive v. Grammar To give all of the inflected forms of a word; to provide a paradigm.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To cause to curve inwards.
  • v. To change the tone or pitch of the voice when speaking or singing.
  • v. To vary the form of a word to express tense, gender, number, mood, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To turn from a direct line or course; to bend; to incline, to deflect; to curve; to bow.
  • transitive v. To vary, as a noun or a verb in its terminations; to decline, as a noun or adjective, or to conjugate, as a verb.
  • transitive v. To modulate, as the voice.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bend; turn from a direct line or course.
  • In grammar, to vary, as a noun or verb, by change of form, especially in regard to endings; decline, as a noun or adjective, or conjugate, as a verb; more specifically, to denote a change of office in (words), not by added elements only, but more or less by alteration of the stem or root itself.
  • To modulate, as the voice.
  • To receive inflection; undergo grammatical changes of form.

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

  • v. vary the pitch of one's speech
  • v. change the form of a word in accordance as required by the grammatical rules of the language

Etymologies

Middle English inflecten, to bend down, from Latin īnflectere : in-, in; see in-2 + flectere, to bend.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin īnflectō, from in- ("in") + flectō ("I bend") (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • "Aloha means goodbye, and also hello. It is in how you inflect..."
    S. Malkmus

    March 12, 2009