Um"laut (?), n. [G., from um about + laut sound.] Philol.
The euphonic modification of a root vowel sound by the influence of a, u, or especially i, in the syllable which formerly followed.
It is peculiar to the Teutonic languages, and was common in Anglo-Saxon. In German the umlauted vowels resulting from a, o, u, followed by old i, are written a, o, u, or ae, oe, ue; as, manner or maenner, men, from mann, man. Examples of forms resulting from umlaut in English are geese pl. of goose, men pl. of man, etc.
© Webster 1913.