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n. pl. pro·lep·ses (-sēz)
1. The anachronistic representation of something as existing before its proper or historical time, as in the precolonial United States.
a. The assignment of something, such as an event or name, to a time that precedes it, as in If you tell the cops, you're a dead man.
b. The use of a descriptive word in anticipation of the act or circumstances that would make it applicable, as dry in They drained the lake dry.
3. The anticipation and answering of an objection or argument before one's opponent has put it forward.

[Late Latin prolēpsis, from Greek, from prolambanein, to anticipate : pro-, before; see pro-2 + lambanein, lēp-, to take.]

pro·lep′tic (-lĕp′tĭk), pro·lep′ti·cal (-tĭ-kəl) adj.


n, pl -ses (-siːz)
1. (Rhetoric) a rhetorical device by which objections are anticipated and answered in advance
2. (Grammar) 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
[C16: via Late Latin from Greek: anticipation, from prolambanein to anticipate, from pro-2 + lambanein to take]
proˈleptic, proˈleptical adj


(proʊˈlɛp sɪs)

n., pl. -ses (-sēz).
1. Rhet. the anticipation of possible objections in order to answer them in advance.
2. the representation of something in the future as if it already existed or had occurred.
3. the use of a descriptive word in anticipation of its becoming applicable.
[1570–80; < Late Latin prolēpsis < Greek prólēpsis anticipation, preconception, derivative of prolēp-, variant s. of prolambánein to anticipate]
pro•lep′tic (-tɪk) pro•lep′ti•cal, adj.
pro•lep′ti•cal•ly, adv.


- Anticipation before something starts is prolepsis.
See also related terms for starts.


anticipating an opponent’s argument and answering it before it can be made. See also future. — proleptic, adj.
See also: Argumentation
anticipation, as in anticipating or describing a future event. See also argumentation. — proleptic, adj.
See also: Future


The anticipation and answering of possible objections before they can be raised.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.prolepsis - anticipating and answering objections in advance
rhetorical device - a use of language that creates a literary effect (but often without regard for literal significance)
References in periodicals archive ?
So, the narrative forms of Defoe's novels produce uncertainties, such as prolepsis or backstory within retrospective delivery, which contribute to a sense that these narrators are impelled by competing urges--compulsive revelation and reactionary concealment--to the point that it is difficult to piece together events.
Reconstruction and Resumption in Indirect A'-Dependencies: On the Syntax of Prolepsis and Relativization in (Swiss) German and Beyond
The parameters for use notwithstanding, all of Akashi's wax sculptures put whomever Akashi nominates as the "host" in charge of their display--the artist herself or a curator, gallerist, or collector--in the position of steward of experience rather than custodian of objects, unless one maintains these changeable works in a state of unchanging prolepsis, totems of perpetual futurity.
another sort of odd prolepsis in "El milagro secreto" has been
We turn now to the way that these videos challenge notions of parental mediation through three concepts: the networked public, prolepsis, and interembodiment.
Its languid pace and use of prolepsis and analepsis create a sense of tension both constant and accumulating, a fitting expression of the precarity of life for displaced Palestinians.
We can see examples of enallage of person, erotema or rhetorical question, exclamation or ecphonesis, prosopopeia, aposiopesis, and prolepsis.
Las prolepsis (prospecciones, anticipaciones narrativas) mediante las cuales el narrador informa al narratario sobre acciones posteriores a las que ocurren en la coyuntura actual de la historia relatada son el resultado de la informacion suprasciente hecha por el narrador.
Through an engagement with the narrative device of prolepsis, as well as analepsis, which recalls rather than anticipates an earlier event (Genette 40), "Pantaloon in Black" depicts the central act of unrepresented violence as an element of a trauma that begins before and extends beyond the actual temporal moment of the lynching.
KEY WORDS: Narrative, Prolepsis, Dating, Composition, Horses, Horse racing
In another section on "focalization and information" (56-60), issues of omniscience, prolepsis, gnomic utterance, but also mind-telling, are taken up.
it's a book of memory, [but unlike the Confessions] not necessarily an act of retrospection" (9); "Dante, instead, ends with what we call a prolepsis, .