Definitions

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

  • n. Grammar The shortening of a word by omission of a sound, letter, or syllable from the middle of the word; for example, bos'n for boatswain.
  • n. Pathology A brief loss of consciousness caused by a temporary deficiency of oxygen in the brain; a swoon. See Synonyms at blackout.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A loss of consciousness when someone faints, a swoon.
  • n. A missing sound from the interior of a word, for example by changing cannot to can't or the pronunciation of placenames in -cester (e.g. Leicester) as -ster.
  • n. A missed beat or off-beat stress in music resulting in syncopation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An elision or retrenchment of one or more letters or syllables from the middle of a word; as, ne'er for never, ev'ry for every.
  • n. Same as Syncopation.
  • n. A fainting, or swooning. See Fainting.
  • n. A pause or cessation; suspension.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The contraction of a word by elision; an elision or retrenchment of one or more letters or a syllable from the middle of a word, as in ne'er for never. See also syncopation, syncopate. Compare apocope.
  • n. In medicine, loss of consciousness from fall of blood-pressure and consequent cerebral anemia; fainting. It may be induced by cardiac weakness or inhibition, hemorrhage, or probably visceral vasomotor relaxation.
  • n. A sudden pause or cessation; a suspension; temporary stop or inability to go on.
  • n. In music: Same as syncopation.
  • n. The combination of two voice-parts so that two or more tones in one coincide with a single tone in the other; simple figuration.
  • n. In ancient prosody, omission, or apparent omission, of an arsis in the interior of a line.

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

  • n. (phonology) the loss of sounds from within a word (as in `fo'c'sle' for `forecastle')
  • n. a spontaneous loss of consciousness caused by insufficient blood to the brain

Etymologies

Middle English sincopis, from sincopene, from Late Latin syncopēn, accusative of syncopē, from Greek sunkopē, from sunkoptein, to cut short : sun-, syn- + koptein, to strike.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Late Latin syncope, from Ancient Greek συγκοπή (sunkopē), from σύν (sin) + κόπτω (koptein, "strike, cut off"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Near-syncope is light-headedness due to the same cause.

    Cardiac terms and definitions

  • For musicians, syncope is a rhythmic form that subverts the order of stress in the bar and puts stress on what is regularly unstressed.

    Ildiko Csengei

  • In a 1949 article in the New Yorker (now the Nyawka), John Davenport commented on “Slurvian,” the language of what linguists call syncope (“SING-kuh-pee”).

    The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time

  • The above is a classic presentation of syncope, which is defined as a transient, self-correcting loss of responsiveness and postural tone.

    EMSResponder.com: Top EMS News

  • Some symptoms St. Jude cited include a sudden loss of consciousness called syncope, palpitations and shortness of breath.

    Minneapolis Business News - Local Minneapolis News | The Minneapolis / St Paul Business Journal

  • In the medical terminology of the period, fainting, swooning, and various states that involve the loss of sensation or consciousness are referred to by the technical terms "syncope" and "lipothymy" (or lypothymia).

    Ildiko Csengei

  • If we assume these arose from some kind of syncope on the second syllable then we should expects all manner of internal clusters, yet only a few combinations are found.

    Laryngeal abuse - Phonemes caught in the reconstructive crossfire

  • Death, he said, was the result of "syncope," or a dramatic drop in blood pressure.

    Portrait of a Killer

  • But in the expression of her countenance there was no character of suffering or distress; on the contrary, a wondrous serenity, that made her beauty more beauteous, her very youthfulness younger; and when this spurious or partial kind of syncope passed, she recovered at once without effort, without acknowledging that she had felt faint or unwell, but rather with a sense of recruited vitality, as the weary obtain from a sleep.

    A Strange Story — Volume 02

  • The patient's main reason for admission is not his "syncope" and they had done a great job on the main problem.

    db's Medical Rants

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  • ‘T is pity, but e’en your expanded examples have naught but pathological applications, the grammar’s omitted.

    October 1, 2009