Definition of enclitic in English:


Syllabification: en·clit·ic
Pronunciation: /enˈklitik


  • A word pronounced with so little emphasis that it is shortened and forms part of the preceding word, e.g., n’t in can’t. Compare with proclitic.
    More example sentences
    • With its multitude of vowels and complex systems of inflections and enclitics, Navajo is one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn.
    • The object pronoun ‘me’ is arguably an enclitic, merging phonologically with the word that precedes it.


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  • Denoting or relating to an enclitic word.
    More example sentences
    • As in Edinburgh, the enclitic negative is nae, ny, as in cannae can't, dinnae don't, whereas other dialects have na.
    • The inflectional and enclitic systems of Navajo are complex, with ten different prefixes possible in the left positions, and seven different enclitic options possible after the verb stem.



Pronunciation: /-(ə)lē/


mid 17th century: via late Latin from Greek enklitikos, from enklinein 'lean on', from en- 'in, on' + klinein 'to lean'.

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