The anticipation and answering of an objection or argument before one's opponent has put it forward.
(rhetoric) The assignment of something to a period of time that precedes it.
(logic) The anticipation of an objection to an argument.
(grammar, rhetoric) A construction that consists of placing an element in a syntactic unit before that to which it would logically correspond.
(philosophy, epistemology) A so-called "preconception", i.e. a pre-theoretical notion which can lead to true knowledge of the world.
The anachronistic representation of something as existing before its proper or historical time, as in the precolonial United States.
The assignment of something, such as an event or name, to a time that precedes it, as in If you tell the cops, you're a dead man.
The use of a descriptive word in anticipation of the act or circumstances that would make it applicable, as dry in They drained the lake dry.
- The describing of an event as taking place before it could have done so.
- The treating of a future event as if it had already happened.
- The anticipating and answering of an argument before one's opponent has a chance to advance it.
Other Word Forms
Origin of prolepsis
- Late Latin prolēpsis from Greek from prolambanein to anticipate pro- before pro–2 lambanein lēp- to take
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Latin prolepsis, from Ancient Greek πρόληψις (prolepsis, “preconception, anticipation"), from προλαμβάνω (prolambano, “take beforehand, anticipate")