Synaloepha

An Introduction to Synaloepha

Synaloepha (from Gk. synaleiphein, “a coalescing,” or “a smearing over, to conceal or destroy the last coat or layer”), is a kind of elisionOpens in new window by which a final vowelOpens in new window or diphthongOpens in new window is omitted or cut off in scanning when the next word begins with a vowel. Thus, terra antiqua is read terr’ antiqua.

  • I'll take one; you take th'other.
  • When yond same star that's westward from the pole
    Had made his course t'illume that part of heaven
    — (Shakespeare, Hamlet 1.1.36-37)
Further Readings:
Silver Rhetoricae, Figures | SynaloephaOpens in new window
George Winfred Hervey, A System of Christian Rhetoric: For the Use of Preachers and Other | Synaloepha (625)Opens in new window
Brett Zimmerman, Edgar Allan Poe: Rhetoric and Style | Synaloepha (312)Opens in new window