noun, plural ep·en·the·ses [uh-pen-thuh-seez] /əˈpɛn θəˌsiz/.
  1. 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/ 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 formsep·en·thet·ic [ep-uh n-thet-ik] /ˌɛp ənˈθɛt ɪk/, adjective
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Examples from the Web for epenthesis

Historical Examples of epenthesis

British Dictionary definitions for epenthesis


noun plural -ses (-ˌsiːz)
  1. the insertion of a sound or letter into a word
Derived Formsepenthetic (ˌɛpɛnˈθɛtɪk), adjective

Word Origin for epenthesis

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