umlaut

If you've ever studied German, you've seen an umlaut. It's a mark that looks like two dots over a letter, and it signifies a shift in pronunciation.

Properly speaking, only German and Hungarian words have these two dots over a vowel to indicate a change in sound (as in doppelgänger and über), but loosely, people sometimes refer to its twin, the dieresis (as in naïve) as an umlaut. The word is German and means "change of sound," from um, "about," and laut, "sound."

Definitions of umlaut
  1. noun
    a diacritical mark (two dots) placed over a vowel in German to indicate a change in sound
    synonyms: diaeresis, dieresis
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    type of:
    diacritic, diacritical mark
    a mark added to a letter to indicate a special pronunciation
Word Family