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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Retroflex \Re"tro*flex\, Retroflexed \Re"tro*flexed\, a. [Pref. retro- + L. flectere, flexum, to bend, to turn.] Reflexed; bent or turned abruptly backward.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1776, from Modern Latin retroflexus, past participle of retroflectere "to bend back," from retro (see retro-) + flectere "to bend" (see flexible). The verb (1898) is a back-formation from retroflexed (1806), from the adjective.


a. 1 bent or curved backwards. 2 (context phonetics English): Of pronunciation in which the tip of the tongue is raised and bent backwards, so that the underside of the tongue is behind the alveolar ridge or touches the palate. n. (context linguistics English) a retroflex consonant

  1. v. bend or turn backward [syn: replicate]

  2. articulate (a consonant) with the tongue curled back against the palate; "Indian accents can be characterized by the fact that speakers retroflex their consonants"

  1. adj. bent or curved backward [syn: retroflexed]

  2. pronounced with the tip of the tongue turned back toward the hard palate [syn: cacuminal]