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

  • n. The loss of one or more sounds from the beginning of a word, as in till for until.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative spelling of apheresis.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Same as apheresis.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • etc. See apheresis, etc.

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

  • n. (linguistics) omission at the beginning of a word as in `coon' for `raccoon' or `till' for `until'


Late Latin, from Greek aphairesis, from aphairein, to take away : apo-, apo- + hairein, to take.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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  • In addition, aphaeresis means surgical excision of an abnormal part of the body; amputation; extraction (of teeth (OED).

    February 12, 2012

  • JM blames aphids for the rise in aphaeresis, seriously!

    December 28, 2010

  • The loss of initial consonants in words or morphemes. (Atata>Tata)

    June 20, 2007