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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.
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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Among their topics are east and west from a Visigoth perspective: how and why Frankish brides were negotiated in the late sixth century, private records of official diplomacy: the Franco-Byzantine letters in the Austrasian Epistolar Collection, Mediterranean homesick blues: human trafficking in the Merovingian leges, the portrayal of Emperor Tiberius II in Gregory of Tours, and when contemporary history is caught up by the immediate present: Fredegar's proleptic depiction of Emperor Constans II.
But a commitment to life, to others, to God, to a sense of meaning and mission is what inspires us to journey toward the perfection of our humanity-a proleptic perfection, already-but-not yet.
Ralph Ellison used the occasion to write a sly, daunting rumination on the condition of black Americans, retrospective as much as proleptic, aesthetic investment for future combat.
Whitman's signature proleptic "you," his play across the
proleptic for the reader, but reads it as foreshadowing the unhappy
A brief coda addresses several additional poets (John Ashbery, Ben Lerner, Robert Pinsky) and turns the larger question over by thinking not about the difficulties that poems face when trying to look back, but those that appear when they seek to peak forward so as to look back from an imagined future, a sort of proleptic belatedness.
In this sense resurrection is proleptic and reflected back on how things are, bestowing a freight of meaning to quotidian reality.
Scott's bold typological rendering of nineteenth-century proleptic visions not only of climate change, but also of acid rain and pollution, which truly do look forward to our ecological moment, is especially subtly and convincingly done.
10) feels in some sense proleptic, its implausible palette appropriate for a city that keeps imagining its own transformation.
But Jack might like to take a look at the international standard on time (ISO 8601) which avoids the jumps of the changes in calendars (as the one in 1752 when the UK missed out 11 days changing from the Julian to Gregorian); this uses the proleptic Gregorian calendar for past dates and does have a year zero before CE1.
The point of view shifts suddenly with the proleptic narratorial commentary informing us that, "He would have ample time later to think about that." Two pages later, we encounter the following passage, which operates in a similar fashion: