tmesis tmesis
 tmee'-sis Gk. "a cutting"
Also sp. timesis

Interjecting a word or phrase between parts of a compound word or between syllables of a word.
  In the following sentence the word "appear" occurs between the two words that make up the compound "hereafter."
This is the place where Christ will come, as will here appear after.

In the following sentence, "whatsoever" has been interrupted with "man":
He shall be punished, what man soever offendeth.

In the following passage, "heinous" interrupts "howe'er":
If on the first, how heinous e'er it be,
To win thy after-love I pardon thee.
—Shakespeare, Richard II 5.3.34-35

Related Figures

Related Topics of Invention

  Sources: Bede 614; Sherry (1550) 31 ("tmesis," "dissectio"); Peacham (1577) F4v; Day 1599 83 ("tmesis," "diacope")

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Gideon O. Burton, Brigham Young University
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