Definitions for virama
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word virama
A diacritic used in most writing systems of the Indian subcontinent to signify the lack of an inherent vowel.
A sign which serves the same purpose in any writing system.
Origin: From to stop
Virama is a generic term for the diacritic in many Brahmic scripts, including Devanagari and Eastern Nagari script, that is used to suppress the inherent vowel that otherwise occurs with every consonant letter. The name is Sanskrit for "cessation, termination, end". As a Sanskrit word, it is used in place of several language-specific terms, such as halant, hôshonto, halanta, pulli, chandrakkala, halant, halanta, a that and phinthu. In Devanagari and many other Indic scripts, a virama is used to cancel—or “kill”—the inherent vowel of a consonant letter and represent a consonant without a vowel, so-called a “dead” consonant. For example, in Devanagari, ⁕क is a consonant letter, ka, ⁕् is a virama; therefore, ⁕क् represents a dead consonant k. If this k क् is further followed by another consonant letter, for example, ṣa ष, the result might look like क्ष, which represents kṣa as ka + virama + ṣa. In this case, two elements k क् and ṣa ष are simply placed one by one, side by side. Alternatively, kṣa can be also written as a ligature क्ष, which is actually the preferred form.
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