ec·​thlip·​sis | \ ekˈthlipsə̇s \
plural ecthlipses\ -​pˌsēz \

Definition of ecthlipsis

Latin prosody
: the elision of a final m with a preceding short vowel before a word beginning with h or a vowel

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for ecthlipsis

Late Latin, from Greek ekthlipsis loss of a sound or letter in a word, squeezing out, from ekthlibein to squeeze out (from ek out of, out—from ex— + thlibein to squeeze, alteration—influenced by Greek thlan to crush, bruise—of Greek—Aeolic & Ionic—phlibein to squeeze) + -sis; Greek thlan akin to Czech dlasmati to press and perhaps to Sanskrit dṛṣad, dhṛṣad millstone

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ecthlipsis

Statistics for ecthlipsis

Cite this Entry

“Ecthlipsis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2020.

Comments on ecthlipsis

What made you want to look up ecthlipsis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!