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A form of contraction or elision in which two adjacent vowel sounds are run together into a single diphthong or vowel: thus ‘the effect’ becomes th'effect, and ‘seëst’ becomes seest. The device is used in poetry for the sake of conformity to the metre, especially in syllabic and accentual‐syllabic verse. A distinction is sometimes made between synaeresis, which creates diphthongs, and sinizesis, which creates simple vowels. See also diaeresis, syncope.

Subjects: Literature.

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