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n. pl. aph·e·ses (-sēz′)
The loss of an initial, usually unstressed vowel from a word, as in cute from acute.

[Greek, a release, from aphīenai, aphe-, to let go : apo-, apo- + hīenai, to send; see diesis.]

a·phet′ic (ə-fĕt′ĭk) adj.
a·phet′i·cal·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Linguistics) the gradual disappearance of an unstressed vowel at the beginning of a word, as in squire from esquire
[C19: from Greek, from aphienai to set free, send away]
aphetic adj
aˈphetically adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈæf ə sɪs)

the gradual disappearance or loss of an unstressed initial vowel or syllable.
[1880; < Greek áphesis release =aph(i)é(nai) to let go, set free (ap- ap-2 + hiénai to send) + -sis -sis]
a•phet•ic (əˈfɛt ɪk) adj.
a•phet′i•cal•ly, adv.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.aphesis - the gradual disappearance of an initial (usually unstressed) vowel or syllable as in `squire' for `esquire'
deletion, omission - any process whereby sounds or words are left out of spoken words or phrases
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Elamite has a regular pattern of aphesis where the initial vowel of #VC roots is lost and where the thematic vowel is mandatory for verbs.