from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The loss of an initial, usually unstressed vowel, as in cute from acute.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The loss of the initial unstressed vowel of a word.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The loss of a short unaccented vowel at the beginning of a word; -- the result of a phonetic process.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The gradual and unintentional removal of a short unaccented vowel at the beginning of a word; a special form of apheresis, as in squire for esquire, down for adown, etc.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the gradual disappearance of an initial (usually unstressed) vowel or syllable as in `squire' for `esquire'
Greek, a release, from aphīenai, aphe-, to let go : apo-, apo- + hīenai, to send; see diesis.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek ἄφεσις (áphesis, "letting go"), from ἀφίημι (aphíēmi) , from ἀπό (apó, "off") + ἵημι (híēmi, "send forth"). (Wiktionary)