An unstressed word, typically a function word, that is incapable of standing on its own and attaches in pronunciation to a stressed word, with which it forms a single accentual unit. Examples of clitics are the pronoun ’em in I see ’em and the definite article in French l'arme, “the arm.”
Of or relating to a clitic or clisis.
Origin of clitic
- Greek klitikos leaning from klīnein to lean klei- in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition