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.
[Greek klitikos, leaning, from klīnein, to lean; see klei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
cliti·cize (-sĭz′) v.
clit′i·ci·zation (-sĭ-zāshən) n.
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.