Definition of prolepsis in English:

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prolepsis

Pronunciation: /prōˈlepsəs/

noun (plural prolepses /-ˌsēz/)

1 Rhetoric The anticipation and answering of possible objections in rhetorical speech.
Example sentences
  • Drexler's book Engines of Creation is an extraordinary exercise in prolepsis: he meticulously refutes every technical objection he can anticipate.
  • For Gilio, prolepsis was a ‘figure,’ a rhetorical device employed to augment the beauty of the work.
2The representation of a thing as existing before it actually does or did so, as in he was a dead man when he entered.

Derivatives

proleptic

Pronunciation: /prōˈleptik/
adjective
Example sentences
  • The anti-Arcadian proleptic elegies of the late 1930s, in other words, and the critique of consolatory language they offer, can be said to have opened up a path toward the welfare state.
  • Anticipation is intuitively, ironically proleptic in that it both foresees things in their absence and, in the very act of apprehension, presents them unwittingly into being.
  • In formulation, the utterance is predictive or proleptic (he will imminently pour himself a drink, check the contents of the bottle).

proleptically

Pronunciation: /prōˈleptēk(ə)lē/
adverb
Example sentences
  • A claim arises when one is in the right, proleptically or after some legal fact.
  • The proleptically elegiac texts of 1938-39 were more than simply expressions of private anxiety: their preoccupations and conclusions anticipated a significant strain of progressive political discourse during the war years.
  • In seeking to depict a ‘subversive’ antiauthoritarian Woolf, these scholars have tended to identify her proleptically with a certain strain of nihilistic postmodernism.

Origin

Late Middle English (as a term in rhetoric): via late Latin from Greek prolēpsis, from prolambanein 'anticipate', from pro 'before' + lambanein 'take'.

Words that rhyme with prolepsis

sepsis, syllepsis

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pro·lep·sis

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