eli·​sion | \ i-ˈli-zhən How to pronounce elision (audio) \

Definition of elision

1a : the use of a speech form that lacks a final or initial sound which a variant speech form has (such as 's instead of is in there's)
b : the omission of an unstressed vowel or syllable in a verse to achieve a uniform metrical pattern
2 : the act or an instance of omitting something : omission

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Synonyms for elision


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Examples of elision in a Sentence

unfortunately, when the book was condensed, some of the elisions rendered major plot developments incomprehensible
Recent Examples on the Web This often takes years, but Thunberg might not need as much time—the necessary elisions have already begun. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Greta Thunberg," 25 Sep. 2019 Another elision in the discussion of impeachment during the debate concerned the role of Hunter Biden, the son of the former Vice-President Joe Biden. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "Answers to the Impeachment Question at the Democratic Debate," 16 Oct. 2019 The result is a film that’s in equal measure gripping and frustrating, a work of nonfiction in which the elision of many factual elements, in the interest of compact dramaturgy, makes an extraordinary true story feel fabricated. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“Honeyland,” Reviewed: A Gripping, Frustrating Documentary About a Beekeeper’s Fragile Isolation," 1 Aug. 2019 But the elision of bird-birder-birding somehow touched the beyond, and birding is now the word of choice.... Laura Jacobs, WSJ, "Book Review: Why Birders Flock Together," 17 May 2019 Where L’Enfant’s, Pope’s, and Pei’s outlines met on the trapezoidal construction site, the latter proclaimed the resulting enclosures to be the only possible architectural solution, a subtle elision of explication and marketing. Martin Filler, The New York Review of Books, "I.M. Pei: Establishment Modernism Lite," 24 May 2019 Rivkin spends a significant amount of time noting the discomfiting elision and erasure of Twombly’s sexuality in the many catalogues and chronologies of his work. Andrew Martin, Harper's magazine, "Not Mere Projection," 10 Mar. 2019 Does the elision imply that the concept is redundant? Peter Pomerantsev, New York Times, "What Trained Bears Can Teach Us About Formerly Authoritarian Countries," 3 May 2018 Readers may have noticed a slight elision in my May 30 column on these matters. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Open Up the Horowitz Secret Appendix," 15 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elision.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of elision

circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for elision

Late Latin elision-, elisio, from Latin elidere

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Time Traveler for elision

Time Traveler

The first known use of elision was circa 1586

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Statistics for elision

Last Updated

25 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Elision.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elision. Accessed 8 December 2019.

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More from Merriam-Webster on elision

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for elision

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with elision

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about elision

Comments on elision

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


to constrict the range or activity of

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