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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.


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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


- Anticipation before something starts is prolepsis.
See also related terms for starts.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


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
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The anticipation and answering of possible objections before they can be raised.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
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)
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Burroughs's proleptical poststructuralism was articulated in terms of the "frontier" of international travel, which offered new possibilities for creative individualism.
The for-itself is orientated necessarily towards itself as self-coincident, the full meaning of the future must be that of the future for-itself, the telos of the for-itself is the self-coincidence or self-identity of a Self, the human subject's overarching desire is to be in-itself-for-itself, and unextendedness is a proleptical consideration of the for-itself in terms of the determinations of the in-itself (the distinction of self and world is a vertical distinction of domains).