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APHAERESIS BrE, apheresis AmE [Stress: ‘a-FER-e-sis’]. The removal of an element from the beginning of a WORD, usually for informal economy of expression: copter and gator from helicopter and alligator. Sometimes aphaeresis and APOCOPE occur together: tec from detective, flu from influenza. The use of an APOSTROPHE to mark aphaeresis ('gator, 'phone, 'plane) is now rare, expect when used to mark novel or unusual forms, as in 'kyou for ‘thank you’. See APHESIS, CLIPPING, ELISION.

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a·phaer·e·sis / əˈferəsis/ • n. Linguistics the loss of a sound or sounds at the beginning of a word, e.g., in the derivation of adder from nadder. • (usu. a·pher·e·sis) Med. / ˌafəˈrēsis/ the removal of blood plasma from the body by the withdrawal of blood, its separation into plasma and cells.