Definition of epenthesis in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈpenTHəsəs/

noun (plural epentheses /-ˌsēz/)

The insertion of a sound or letter within a word, e.g., the b in thimble.
Example sentences
  • This epenthesis often shows up even when Sicilians speak Italian.
  • Data were categorized as accurately produced, produced with modifications (epenthesis or feature change), or absent, which meant that one or more of the consonants in the coda were not produced.
  • I assume we know the correct hidden structure (like foot structure) and the correct underlying forms (no epenthesis or deletion or lexical stress).



Pronunciation: /ˌepenˈTHetik/
Example sentences
  • An epenthetic vowel can be added to break up a consonant cluster.
  • Sicilian, phonetically characterized by the presence of retroflexed consonants, not only keeps all the vowel sounds clear and loud but introduces an epenthetic [i] in some consonantic groups.


Mid 16th century: via late Latin from Greek, from epentithenai 'insert', from epi 'in addition' + en- 'within' + tithenai 'to place'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ep·en·the·sis

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