Set 10 – Five New Words for Nov 10

Theme: Words and Medicine

1.  apheresis (for 1: uh-FER-i-sis, for 2: af-uh-REE-sis)


1. The loss of one or more sounds or letters from the beginning of a word. For example, the change in pronunciation of knife from (k-nyf) to (nyf) or the use of ’til for until.

2. A method in which blood is drawn from a donor, one or more blood components (such as plasma, platelets, or white blood cells) are removed, and the rest is returned to the donor by transfusion.


“Williams gives the Narragansett word in full [poquauhock], though common usage reduced it and Anglicized it through apheresis [to quahog].”

“He had quartered in Memphis with Cynthia for weeks, giving over his stem cells through apheresis.”

2. syncope (SING-kuh-pee)

MEANING: noun:

1. The shortening of a word by omission of sounds or letters from its middle. For example, did not to didn’t or Worcester to Wooster.

2. Fainting caused by insufficient blood flow to the brain.


“There were important books on vowel syncope in Greek and Indo-European.”

“‘I’m no doctor, but they say I just fainted,’ said Pavelec, who had what is termed a neurocardiogenic syncope episode.”

3. aspirate (verb: AS-puh-rayt, noun: AS-puhr-it)]


verb tr.:

1. To pronounce a sound with an exhalation of breath.
2. To pronounce the h sound at the beginning of a word as (hwich) for which.
3. To inhale something (such as a fluid) into the lungs, as after throwing up.
4. To draw a fluid from a body cavity by suction.


1. The sound represented by h.
2. A speech sound followed by an audible puff of breath.
3. The matter removed from a body cavity by suction.


“Woody Allen’s tone is often aspirated and screechy, lacking the clarinet’s melted chocolate smoothness.”

“Whitney Houston brings out the aspirates or glottals at the start of each word.”

“This condition causes everything that he eats to aspirate into his lungs.”

4. prolepsis  (pro-LEP-sis)

MEANING: noun:

1. The use of a descriptive word in anticipation of the result. Example: The word hot in hot water heater.

2. The anticipation and answering of an objection or argument before it’s raised. Also known as prebuttal.

3. The representation of an event before it actually happened. Example: He lost the game even before the match began.

4. The anachronistic representation of an event before its actual time. Also known as prochronism. Example: A depiction of people talking wirelessly over long distances in 18th century.

5. A literary technique in which the author drops hints of things to come. Also known as foreshadowing.

6. The return of a paroxysm of a periodic disease before its usual time or at progressively shorter intervals.


“As preservationists and residents threatened with displacement join ‘re-open Charity’ proponents, planners symbolically engage in prolepsis, rhetorically precluding opposing arguments with flash forward of supposedly ‘done deals.'”
Anne Lovell; Debating Life After Disaster; Medical Anthropology Quarterly; Jun 2011.

“You have no right to interrupt the council’s session, and such a dangerous prolepsis as this will not be allowed to change the debate.”
Kim Stanley Robinson; Galileo’s Dream; Spectra; 2009.

“The thought threw me into a vernal prolepsis, a mental flash-forward to spring.”
Verlyn Klinkenborg; The Farm From Afar; The New York Times; Mar 22, 2013.


5. agglutinate (verb: uh-GLOOT-n-ayt, adjective: uh-GLOOT-n-it, -ayt)


verb tr., intr.:

1. To form words by combining words or word elements.

2. To join or become joined as if by glue.

3. To clump or cause to clump, as red blood cells.


1. Joined or tending to join.

2. Relating to a language that makes complex words by joining words or word elements extensively. For example as in Turkish.


“Like Turkish, Tuyuca is heavily agglutinating, so that one word, hóabãsiriga means ‘I do not know how to write.'”

“There were two kinds of blood on that laboratory floor, and they do not agglutinate.”


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