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[uh-pen-thuh-sis] /əˈpɛn θə sɪs/
noun, plural epentheses
[uh-pen-thuh-seez] /əˈpɛn θəˌsiz/ (Show IPA)
the insertion of one or more sounds in the middle of a word, as the schwa in the nonstandard pronunciation
[el-uh m] /ˈɛl əm/ (Show IPA)
of elm.
Origin of epenthesis
1650-60; < Late Latin: insertion of a letter < Greek epénthesis equivalent to ep- ep- + en- en-2 + thésis placing; see thesis
Related forms
[ep-uh n-thet-ik] /ˌɛp ənˈθɛt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for epenthesis


noun (pl) -ses (-ˌsiːz)
the insertion of a sound or letter into a word
Derived Forms
epenthetic (ˌɛpɛnˈθɛtɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C17: via Late Latin from Greek, from epentithenai to insert, from epi- + en-² + tithenai to place
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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