adj. also ret·ro·flexed (-flĕkst′)
1. Bent, curved, or turned backward.
2. Pronounced with the tip of the tongue turned back against the roof of the mouth.
A sound pronounced with the tongue in retroflex position, as the sound (r) in some varieties of English.
[Latin *retrōflexus, past participle of retrōflectere, to bend back : retrō, retro- + flectere, to bend.]
ret′ro·flexion, ret′ro·flection n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.