To supplement the Webster definition, more specifically:

In Latin poetry, the practice of omitting unnecessary vowels to fit the meter when the poetry is being read aloud. This occurs when one word ends with a vowel (or a vowel followed by an 'm', which to a Roman was really just another, nasal vowel), and the next one begins with a vowel (or an h followed by a vowel, since the Romans didn't pronounce their h's very strongly), and so the end of the first word is elided (dropped). Note: this doesn't usually happen across a caesura, and never between the end of one line and the beginning of another. Also, elision doesn't always have to occur, and the deliberate avoidance of it is called hiatus.


  • in vento et rapida => in ventet rapida
  • Nunc iam illa non volt => Nunc iilla non volt
  • ibi illa=> ibilla

E*li"sion (?), n. [L. elisio, fr. elidere, elisum, to strike out: cf. F. 'elision. See Elide.]


Division; separation.



2. Gram.

The cutting off or suppression of a vowel or syllable, for the sake of meter or euphony; esp., in poetry, the dropping of a final vowel standing before an initial vowel in the following word, when the two words are drawn together.


© Webster 1913.

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