Figure Name apocope
Source Silva Rhetoricae (http://humanities.byu.edu/rhetoric/Silva.htm);Isidore 1.35.3; Mosellanus ("apocope" "abcisio") a3v; Susenbrotus (1540) 21; Sherry (1550) 27 ("apocope," "absissio"); Wilson (1560) 200 ("cutting from the end");Peacham (1577) E2v ; JG Smith (1665) ("apocope"); Macbeth (1876); Holmes (1806) ("apocope"); Bullinger (1898) ("apocope: or end-cut")
Earliest Source None
Synonyms abissio, abscissio, abcisio, or absissio, cutting from the end, end-cut
Etymology from Gk. apo "away from" and koptein "to cut" ("a cutting off")
Type Scheme
Linguistic Domain Morphological

1. Omitting a letter or syllable at the end of a word. A kind of metaplasm. (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. A cutting off, a figure when the last letter or syllable of a word is cut off.; abscissio, a cutting off. Apocope is a figure contrary to Paragoge, and is when the last letter or syllable of a word is cut off or taken away. (JG Smith)

3. End-cut, or apocope, next meets us: the cutting off a letter or letters from the end of a word, as seld for seldom; Pont for Pontus; Lucrece for Lucretia; obstruct for obstruction; submiss for submissive: auxiliar for auxiliary; amaze for amazement; Moroc for Morocco; addict for addicted. (Macbeth)

4. Apocope cuts off a final letter, Or syllable, to make the verse run better. (Holmes)

5. It is a figure of etymology which relates to the spelling of words, and is used of sutting off a letter or syllable from the end of a word. (Bullinger, 162)


1. Omission of a final letter:
When Maro says "Achilli" for "Achillis"

1. Omission of a final syllable:
True art is nature to advantage dressed
What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed. [for "often"]
—Alexander Pope

1. Season your admiration for awhile With an attent ear. [for "attentive"]
—Shakespeare, Hamlet 1.2.192

3. Who but hath felt the potency of the Psalm-singer's apocope? In a Brooklyn church the choir began:
" My poor pol- my poor pol- my poor polluted heart!" (Macbeth)

3. "Oh let our voice His praise exalt,
Till it arrive at heaven's vault;
Which then, perhaps, rebounding may
Echo beyond the Mexic' bay." - Andrew Marvel (Macbeth)

3. John Keats writes swelt for swelter; sult for sultry:
"With her two brothers this fair lady dwelt,
Enriched from ancestral merchandise;
And for them many a weary hand did swelt." (Macbeth)

4. Tho' for though, or although. (Holmes)

5. yon for yonder, after for afterward; Jude for Judas (Bullinger, 162)

Kind Of Omission
Part Of
Related Figures metaplasm, figures of omission, paragoge, aphaeresis, syncope, meiosis, figures of etymology, synaeresis, crasis
Notes General Rhetorical Strategy: Omission Is it possible to for this figure to be morphological, orthographic, and lexicographic?
Confidence Unconfident
Last Editor Ioanna Malton
Confidence Unconfident
Editorial Notes Please include all synonyms from SR.
Reviewed No