-lepsis Also -leptic.
A figure of speech.
[Greek lēpsis, a seizing, from lambanein, take hold of.]
Words in -lepsis derive from medieval terms in rhetoric. A syllepsis (Greek sullēpsis, taking together) is a figure of speech in which a word is applied to two others in different senses (for example, he caught the train and a bad cold); prolepsis (Greek prolēpsis, from prolambanein, anticipate, from pro, before, plus lambanein, take) can refer to anticipating and answering possible objections in rhetorical speech, or to a literary device in which something is presumed to have existed before it actually happened, as in he was a dead man when he entered; metalepsis (Greek metalepsis, from metalambanein to substitute, from meta, with, across, or after) is a form of metonymy of an indirect kind in which the substitution is of a word that is already being used figuratively. Adjectives are formed in -leptic: sylleptic, proleptic.