Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Omission of a final or initial sound in pronunciation.
  • n. Omission of an unstressed vowel or syllable, as in scanning a verse.
  • n. The act or an instance of omitting something.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The deliberate omission of something.
  • n. The omission of a letter or syllable between two words; sometimes marked with an apostrophe.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A striking or cutting off; specifically, in grammar, the cutting off or suppression of a vowel or syllable, naturally or for the sake of euphony or meter, especially at the end of a word when the next word begins with a vowel; more generally, the suppression of any part of a word in speech or writing: as, in “th' embattled plain” there is an elision of e; in “I'll not do it” there is an elision of wi.
  • n. Division; separation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a deliberate act of omission
  • n. omission of a sound between two words (usually a vowel and the end of one word or the beginning of the next)

Etymologies

Latin ēlīsiō, ēlīsiōn-, from ēlīsus, past participle of ēlīdere, to strike out; see elide.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From elide. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In addition to that, the reaction of most of my learners (I do believe we should always take our context into account so I need to talk about my learners) when they are first taught about the rhythm of the language, liaisons and elision is of shock and indignation.

    P is for Pronunciation « An A-Z of ELT

  • The only way around mathematically brutal elision is to cheat by adding a picture or link -- fodder for the ADD crowd who will actually go to prominent writers 'blogs and complain about having to read "paragraphs."

    Archive 2010-01-01

  • Syncope, in the sense of contraction or elision, is also the name of a poetic device used for securing the cadence of a line, or making the line fit into the syllable pattern of the stanza.

    Ildiko Csengei

  • Now, that strikes me as something of a just-so story; if that sort of elision is standard with what’s more important, why don’t we also see it attested with other similar constructions, such as what’s most interesting or what’s more notable?

    2010 March « Motivated Grammar

  • Another elision is the humdrum and the sinister: triviality is the harbinger of evil, and Ishiguro's prose from the outset is conspicuously dull with trivia.

    Rereading: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

  • The OED has a nice example from Mason's English Grammar of 1876 which shows how the idea of elision was still present in people's minds : 'It is an unmeaning process to put the apostrophe after the possessive plural s as birds', because no vowel has been dropped there'.

    Archive 2008-04-01

  • Indeed, it's the kind of elision hoary old lefties like me make when we say that 'the poor pay more tax', and one of which your newfound friends at the Adam Smith Institute would probably not approve.

    Will the Lib Dems stick up for their own policy?

  • (In ideological terms, what Shelley and the Revolution in Taste calls 'elision'; here, a fresh way of accounting for the incandescent, synaesthetic psychedelia of Shelley's verse.)

    Morton, Fractal Self-Similarity in Percy Shelley - Early Shelley - Romantic Circles Praxis Series, Romantic Circles

  • _s_ in all words which terminate in _us_, except when they were followed by a vowel; and the same elision which is so carefully avoided by the modern Poets, was very far from being reckoned a fault among the ancient: for they made no scruple to say,

    Cicero's Brutus or History of Famous Orators; also His Orator, or Accomplished Speaker.

  • It’s not just the unearned intimacy; it’s the way everything seems manipulated and focus-tested by teams of professionals to the point where it becomes a kind of elision, a non-speak.

    Only Connect

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Comments

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  • Elision was used in Greek to avoid pausis, a glottal stop between two vowels, which they considered ugly. Hence we got silly constructs like ta auta becoming tauta, rendering the word for 'the same things' virtually identical to the one for 'that' with the minor exception of having an unused breathing mark left in the middle of the word.

    August 20, 2008

  • I like the French pronunciation of this word.

    August 20, 2008