The Collaborative International Dictionary
Aphesis \Aph"e*sis\, n. [Gr. ? a letting go; ? + ? to let go.]
The loss of a short unaccented vowel at the beginning of a
word; -- the result of a phonetic process; as, squire for
--New Eng. Dict.
n. the gradual disappearance of an initial (usually unstressed) vowel or syllable as in `squire' for `esquire'
n. (context linguistics prosody English) The loss of the initial unstressed vowel of a word.