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

  • n. The loss of one or more sounds from the end of a word, as in Modern English sing from Middle English singen.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The loss or omission of a sound or syllable from the end of a word.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The cutting off, or omission, of the last letter, syllable, or part of a word.
  • n. A cutting off; abscission.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In grammar, the cutting off or omission of the last letter or syllable of a word, as in th' for the, i' for in.
  • n. In surgery, a wound with loss of substance; ablation; amputation.
  • n. [capitalized] [NL.] In zoology, a genus of plec-tospondylous fishes, of the family Cyprinidæ. It contains several species of western North America, such as A. couesi. E. D. Cope, 1871.

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

  • n. abbreviation of a word by omitting the final sound or sounds


Late Latin, from Greek apokopē, from apokoptein, to cut off : apo-, apo- + koptein, to cut.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin, from Ancient Greek ἀποκοπή (apokopḗ), ἀποκόπτω (apokóptō, "cut off"). (Wiktionary)



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  • I want to build a table on this word, invite over adelaide (she’s too “modern” for capitalization) and her pal the abbé, and serve them edda.

    September 18, 2011

  • JM is looking for a handy tool to perform apocope on overly long words – like pruning is with plants so it will be with language – at least that’s what I reck’n.

    April 28, 2011

  • JM cannot cope with more than 3 apocopes a day - otherwise he pulls up too short.

    January 10, 2011

  • Preferred rhetorical device of the Aussies, e.g. barbie for barbeque (or "barbecue" if you must).

    April 6, 2008

  • Thosefinches, I have a list of these, if you care to suggest any others. :-)

    Oh, and great name, by the way.

    October 25, 2007

  • loss or omission of the last letter, syllable, or particle word. (as in 'darlin' used for 'darling')

    October 25, 2007

  • You spammer. ;-)

    March 6, 2007