5 Facts About Macron


A macron is a diacritical mark: it is a straight bar placed above a letter, usually a vowel.

A diacritic – also diacritical mark, diacritical point, or diacritical sign – is a glyph added to a letter, or basic glyph.

In phonetics, a vowel is a sound in spoken language, with two competing definitions.

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Its name derives from Greek μακρόν, meaning 'long', since it was originally used to mark long or heavy syllables in Greco-Roman metrics.

A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds.

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It now more often marks a long vowel.


In the International Phonetic Alphabet, the macron is used to indicate a mid-tone; the sign for a long vowel is instead a modified triangular colon ⟨ː⟩.

The International Phonetic Alphabet is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin alphabet.


The opposite is the breve ⟨˘⟩, which marks a short or light syllable or a short vowel.

For other uses, see Micron -.

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