- the next to the last syllable in a word.
Origin of penult
Examples from the Web for penultima
Historical Examples of penultima
But Ἀργυρία, with the accent on the penultima, becomes the name of a town.
Disyllables lengthen the penultima, as 'stable', 'title', 'pupil'.
Trisyllabic verbs throw the stress back and shorten the penultima, as 'dsŏlate', 'sffŏcate', 'scntĭllate'.
A fully stressed vowel before a mute and r, or before d or pl, was pronounced long in the penultima.
With no vowel before the penultima the long quality is, as usual, preserved, as in 'satiety'.
- the last syllable but one in a word
Word Origin for penult
1580s, from Latin penultima (syllaba), "the next to the last syllable of a word or verse," from fem. of Latin adjective penultimus "next-to-last," from paene "almost" + ultimus "final" (see ultimate).
"last but one," 1530s, abbreviation of penultima. As a noun from 1570s.