[ tuh-mee-sis ]
/ təˈmi sɪs /


the interpolation of one or more words between the parts of a compound word, as be thou ware for beware.

Nearby words

tlr, tls, tlv, tm, tmc, tmesis, tmi, tmj, tmj syndrome, tml, tmo

Origin of tmesis

1580–90; < Late Latin tmēsis < Greek tmḗsis a cutting, equivalent to tmē- (variant stem of témnein to cut) + -sis -sis
Related formstmet·ic [tuh-met-ik] /təˈmɛt ɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tmesis

British Dictionary definitions for tmesis


/ (təˈmiːsɪs, ˈmiːsɪs) /


interpolation of a word or group of words between the parts of a compound word

Word Origin for tmesis

C16: via Latin from Greek, literally: a cutting, from temnein to cut
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

Word Origin and History for tmesis


1570s, from Greek tmesis "a cutting," related to temnein "to cut," tome "a cutting" (see tome). The separation of the elements of a compound word by the interposition of another word or words (e.g. a whole nother).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper