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aphesis

[ af-uh-sis ]
/ ˈæf ə sɪs /
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noun Historical Linguistics.
the disappearance or loss of an unstressed initial vowel or syllable, as in the formation of the word slant from aslant.
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Origin of aphesis

1880; <Greek áphesis a letting go, equivalent to aphe- (variant stem of aphiénai to let go, set free; ap-ap-2 + hiénai to send) + -sis-sis
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use aphesis in a sentence

  • This English tendency to aphesis is satirised in a French song of the 14th century, intentionally written in bad French.

  • Aphesis is the loss of the unaccented first syllable, as in 'baccy and 'later.

    The Romance of Names|Ernest Weekley
  • But confusion with the article is not necessary in order to bring about aphesis.

British Dictionary definitions for aphesis

aphesis
/ (ˈæfɪsɪs) /

noun
the gradual disappearance of an unstressed vowel at the beginning of a word, as in squire from esquire

Derived forms of aphesis

aphetic (əˈfɛtɪk), adjectiveaphetically, adverb

Word Origin for aphesis

C19: from Greek, from aphienai to set free, send away
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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