I. noun — [ mass noun] 1.
[Linguistics] the gradual loss of an unstressed vowel at the beginning of a word (e.g. of e from esquire to form squire).
II. derivatives 1. aphetic /əˈfɛtɪk / adjective
2. aphetically adverb
– origin late 19th cent.: from Greek, literally ‘letting go’, from apo ‘from’ + hienai ‘let go, send’.