prolepsis

[ proh-lep-sis ]
/ proʊˈlɛp sɪs /

noun, plural pro·lep·ses [proh-lep-seez] /proʊˈlɛp siz/.

Rhetoric. the anticipation of possible objections in order to answer them in advance.
the assigning of a person, event, etc., to a period earlier than the actual one; the representation of something in the future as if it already existed or had occurred; prochronism.
the use of a descriptive word in anticipation of its becoming applicable.
a fundamental conception or assumption in Epicureanism or Stoicism arising spontaneously in the mind without conscious reflection; thought provoked by sense perception.
Pathology. the return of an attack of a periodic disease or of a paroxysm before the expected time or at progressively shorter intervals.

Origin of prolepsis

1570–80; < Late Latin prolēpsis < Greek prólēpsis anticipation, preconception, equivalent to prolēp- (verbid stem of prolambánein to anticipate (pro- pro-2 + lambánein to take)) + -sis -sis

Related forms

pro·lep·tic [proh-lep-tik] /proʊˈlɛp tɪk/, pro·lep·ti·cal, adjectivepro·lep·ti·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prolepsis

British Dictionary definitions for prolepsis

prolepsis

/ (prəʊˈlɛpsɪs) /

noun plural -ses (-siːz)

a rhetorical device by which objections are anticipated and answered in advance
use of a word after a verb in anticipation of its becoming applicable through the action of the verb, as flat in hammer it flat

Derived Forms

proleptic, adjective

Word Origin for prolepsis

C16: via Late Latin from Greek: anticipation, from prolambanein to anticipate, from pro- ² + lambanein to take
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

Medicine definitions for prolepsis

prolepsis

[ prō-lĕpsĭs ]

n. pl. pro•lep•ses (-sēz)

The return of paroxysms of a recurrent disease at intervals that progressively become shorter.

Related forms

pro•leptic (-lĕptĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.