One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Misrepresentation or suppression of the truth or facts; an act or instance of this.
2Ecclesiastical Law. Suppression of the truth or concealment of facts in order to obtain a dispensation, etc.
3Scottish Law. Suppression of the truth in order to obtain gifts of escheat, etc. historical after 18th cent.
4Philosophy. In Kantian philosophy: the confusion of sensory elements in experience with conceptual elements belonging to understanding and reason, especially as leading to the improper application of concepts belonging to subjective experience to the objective world of things in themselves; an instance of this.
Late 16th century. From classical Latin subreptiōn-, subreptiō act of taking secretly, stealing (2nd cent. a.d. in Apuleius), in post-classical Latin also action of snatching away by death, deceit, trickery from subrept-, past participial stem of subripere + -iō.
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