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noun, epen·the·sis \i-ˈpen(t)-thə-səs, e-\

Definition of epenthesis

plural epenthesesplay \-ˌsēz\

  1. :  the insertion or development of a sound or letter in the body of a word (as \ə\ in \ˈa-thə-ˌlēt\ athlete)

epenthetic play \ˌe-pən-ˈthe-tik\ adjective

Did You Know?

If you say film as "FIL-um," with two syllables, you've committed epenthesis. It isn't a punishable offense-in fact, it's not an offense at all. It is simply a natural way to break up an awkward cluster of consonants. It's easier for some people to say film as two syllables instead of one, just as it's easier for some to insert a "b" sound into cummerbund, pronouncing that word as "CUM-ber-bund."

Origin of epenthesis

Late Latin, from Greek, from epentithenai to insert a letter, from epi- + entithenai to put in, from en- + tithenai to put — more at do

First Known Use: 1543

Seen and Heard

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deserving imitation because of excellence

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