Definition - The omitting of one of two vowels in situations where consecutive words end with a vowel and then begin with another vowel.

Example -
I'll handle that mother; you handle th'other mother.

Etymology -
The word derives from the Greek synaleiphein, to smear or melt together.

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation is from 1540:
"Whan so euer a worde endeth in a vowel, the nexte word folowyng begynnynge with a vowell…than shall the vowell that the precedent worde ended in, be drouned, and not accounted in scannynge, by this fygure SynalÅ“pha."
(Jehan Palsgrave, Acolastus, Eiijb)

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