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aphesis

[af-uh-sis]
noun Historical Linguistics.
  1. 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. 2018

Examples from the Web for aphesis

Historical Examples

  • 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.

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


British Dictionary definitions for aphesis

aphesis

noun
  1. the gradual disappearance of an unstressed vowel at the beginning of a word, as in squire from esquire
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Derived Formsaphetic (əˈfɛtɪk), adjectiveaphetically, adverb

Word Origin

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