[ en-klit-ik ]
/ ɛnˈklɪt ɪk /


(of a word) closely connected in pronunciation with the preceding word and not having an independent accent or phonological status.


an enclitic word, as Latin que “and” in arma virumque, “arms and the man.”

Origin of enclitic

1650–60; < Late Latin encliticus < Greek enklitikós, equivalent to en- en-2 + klít(os) slope + -ikos -ic

Related forms

en·clit·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for enclitic


/ (ɪnˈklɪtɪk) /


  1. denoting or relating to a monosyllabic word or form that is treated as a suffix of the preceding word, as Latin -que in populusque
  2. (in classical Greek) denoting or relating to a word that throws an accent back onto the preceding word


an enclitic word or linguistic form
Compare proclitic

Derived Forms

enclitically, adverb

Word Origin for enclitic

C17: from Late Latin encliticus, from Greek enklitikos, from enklinein to cause to lean, from en- ² + klinein to lean
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