Definition of epenthesis in English:



  • [mass noun] The insertion of a sound or letter within a word, e.g. the b in thimble.

    • ‘Data were categorized as accurately produced, produced with modifications (epenthesis or feature change), or absent, which meant that one or more of the consonants in the coda were not produced.’
    • ‘I assume we know the correct hidden structure (like foot structure) and the correct underlying forms (no epenthesis or deletion or lexical stress).’
    • ‘This epenthesis often shows up even when Sicilians speak Italian.’


Mid 16th century: via late Latin from Greek, from epentithenai insert, from epi in addition + en- within + tithenai to place.