Definitions

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

  • n. The anachronistic representation of something as existing before its proper or historical time, as in the precolonial United States.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. The anticipation and answering of an objection or argument before one's opponent has put it forward.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The assignment of something to a period of time that precedes it.
  • n. The anticipation of an objection to an argument.
  • n. A construction that consists of placing an element in a syntactic unit before that to which it would logically correspond.
  • n. A so-called "preconception", i.e. a pre-theoretical notion which can lead to true knowledge of the world.
  • n. Growth in which lateral branches develop from a lateral meristem, after the formation of a bud or following a period of dormancy, when the lateral meristem is split from a terminal meristem.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.
  • n. A figure by which objections are anticipated or prevented.
  • n. A necessary truth or assumption; a first or assumed principle.
  • n. An error in chronology, consisting in an event being dated before the actual time.
  • n. The application of an adjective to a noun in anticipation, or to denote the result, of the action of the verb.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Anticipation.
  • n. In rhetoric: A name sometimes applied to the use of an adjective (or a noun) as objective predicate (see predicate), as if implying an anticipation of the result of the verb's action.
  • n. A figure consisting in anticipation of an opponent's objections and arguments in order to preclude his use of them, answer them in advance, or prepare the reader to receive them unfavorably. This figure is most frequently used in the exordium. Also called procatalepsis.
  • n. An error in chronology, consisting in dating an event before the actual time of its occurrence; an anachronism.

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

  • n. anticipating and answering objections in advance

Etymologies

Late Latin prolēpsis, from Greek, from prolambanein, to anticipate : pro-, before; see pro-2 + lambanein, lēp-, to take.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin prolepsis, from Ancient Greek πρόληψις (prolepsis, "preconception, anticipation"), from προλαμβάνω (prolambano, "take beforehand, anticipate") (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • JM is a prolepsis expert, now!

    April 5, 2011

  • I am not going to take your time by prolepsis, gentlemen, either in its literal or chronological sense...

    - Malcolm Lowry, October Ferry to Gabriola

    July 30, 2008