breve n : a diacritical mark (u-curved) placed over a vowel to indicate a short sound
EtymologyFrom brevis, short
semicircular diacritical mark
- Japanese: (tan'on kigō)
- Slovene: celinka
A breve (Latin brevis "short, brief") is a diacritical mark ˘, shaped like the bottom half of a circle. It looks similar to caron (a.k.a. wedge or háček), but the caron has a sharp tip, whilst the breve is rounded. Compare Ǎ ǎ Ě ě Ǐ ǐ Ǒ ǒ Ǔ ǔ (caron) with Ă ă Ĕ ĕ Ĭ ĭ Ŏ ŏ Ŭ ŭ (breve).
LengthThe breve sign indicates a short vowel, as opposed to the macron ¯ which indicates long vowels, in academic transcription. It is often used this way in dictionaries and textbooks of Latin, Ancient Greek and some other languages, such as Tuareg. (However, there is a frequent convention of indicating only – but all – the long vowels: it is then understood that a vowel with no macron is short.)
In the Cyrillic alphabet, a breve is used for Й (a semivowel I). In Belarusian, it is used for both the Cyrillic Ў (semivowel U) and in the Latin (Łacinka) Ŭ. Ў was also used in Cyrillic Uzbek under the Soviet Union. In the Chuvash a breve is used for Cyrillic letters (A-breve) and (Ye-breve).
Other usesIn other languages, it is used for other purposes.
- Interlingua has no diacritical marks, so the breve appears only in an occasional loanword.
breve in Catalan: Breu
breve in German: Breve (Zeichen)
breve in Spanish: Breve (signo diacrítico)
breve in French: Brève
breve in Italian: Breve (diacritica)
breve in Dutch: Breve
breve in Japanese: ブレーヴェ
breve in Norwegian: Breve
breve in Portuguese: Breve (diacrítico)
breve in Romanian: Breve
breve in Russian: Кратка
breve in Swedish: Brevis