Word of the Day
Monday, April 14, 2003

Definitions for tmesis

  1. In grammar and rhetoric, the separation of the parts of a compound word, now generally done for humorous effect; for example, "what place soever" instead of "whatsoever place," or "abso-bloody-lutely."

Learn something
new every day


Thank youfor signing up
Get the Word of the Day Email
Citations for tmesis
If on the first, how heinous e'er it be,
To win thy after-love I pardon thee.
Shakespeare, Richard II
His income-tax return, he remarked, was the "most rigged-up marole" he'd ever seen. Frederic Packard,
Origin of tmesis
Tmesis is from Greek tmesis, "a cutting," from temnein, "to cut."