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Definition of "retroflex" [re•tro•flex]

  • Bent, curved, or turned backward. (adjective)
  • Pronounced with the tip of the tongue turned back against the roof of the mouth. (adjective)
  • A sound pronounced with the tongue in retroflex position, as the sound (r) in some varieties of English. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "retroflex" in a sentence
  • "The next seven consonants are 'retroflex': the tongue curls back to the palate (front part of the roof of the mouth), making a hard sound ṭh aspirated version of the above as in 'dry', but harder"
  • "Like alveolar consonants replaced by retroflex consonants e.g walked - walk."
  • "The retroflex [r] and the clear [l] sound the same to the Japonese; i.e. rice and lice -- Yew!"