Meaning of aphesis in English:


Pronunciation /ˈafɪsɪs/


mass nounLinguistics
  • The gradual loss of an unstressed vowel at the beginning of a word (e.g. of e from esquire to form squire).

    ‘That word was created from it later by losing its first syllable through a process called aphesis and had the same sense.’
    • ‘Would UK speakers think this a neologism, an example of aphesis and/or a local eccentricity?’
    • ‘In the French language, texters also use aphesis, ‘zic’ for ‘musique’, or abbreviation, ‘poss’ for ‘possible’.’
    leaving out, exclusion, exception, non-inclusion, deletion, erasure, cut, excision, elimination, absence


Late 19th century from Greek, literally ‘letting go’, from apo ‘from’ + hienai ‘let go, send’.