AskDefine | Define umlaut

Dictionary Definition

umlaut n : a diacritical mark (two dots) placed over a vowel in German to indicate a change in sound [syn: dieresis, diaeresis]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Umlaut



Umlaut < um (around) + Laut (sound).


  • /ˈʊmlaʊt/|/ˈʌmlaʊt/ /"UmlaUt/|/"VmlaUt/ a UK


  1. A process whereby a vowel is pronounced more like a vowel or semivowel in a following syllable.
  2. A partial assimilation of a vowel.
  3. A vowel so assimilated.
  4. : The diacritical mark ( ¨ ) placed over a vowel to indicate such assimilation.

Usage notes

  • Although this symbol has the same form as the diaeresis/dieresis, it has as a different function and so in standard and technical usage these two terms are not interchangeable.
  • When spelling a German word out loud, one can say “(vowel) umlaut” or “umlauted vowel”. e.g. “oh umlaut” or “umlauted oh” mean “an ‘o’ with an umlaut over it” (ö).


partial assimilation of a vowel
vowel so assimilated
diacritical mark


  1. To place an umlaut over a vowel.

Derived terms

See also

Extensive Definition

Umlaut may refer to:
umlaut in Breton: Umlaut
umlaut in Danish: Umlaut
umlaut in German: Umlaut
umlaut in French: Umlaut
umlaut in Japanese: ウムラウト
umlaut in Dutch: Umlaut
umlaut in Norwegian Nynorsk: Omlyd
umlaut in Norwegian: Tøddel
umlaut in Polish: Umlaut
umlaut in Portuguese: Umlaut
umlaut in Swedish: Omljud
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