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[tuh-mee-sis] /təˈmi sɪs/
the interpolation of one or more words between the parts of a compound word, as be thou ware for beware.
Origin of tmesis
1580-90; < Late Latin tmēsis < Greek tmḗsis a cutting, equivalent to tmē- (variant stem of témnein to cut) + -sis -sis
Related forms
tmetic [tuh-met-ik] /təˈmɛt ɪk/ (Show IPA), adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for tmesis


/təˈmiːsɪs; ˈmiːsɪs/
interpolation of a word or group of words between the parts of a compound word
Word Origin
C16: via Latin from Greek, literally: a cutting, from temnein to cut
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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Word Origin and History for tmesis

1570s, from Greek tmesis "a cutting," related to temnein "to cut," tome "a cutting" (see tome). The separation of the elements of a compound word by the interposition of another word or words (e.g. a whole nother).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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