- Separation of parts of a compound word by the intervention of one or more words (as what place soever for whatsoever place)
[Late Latin, from Greek tmēsis act of cutting, from temneinto cut
First Known Use: 1550]
Toby’s mother rolled her eyes at him, but the smile on her lips told him his tmesis had done the trick. She had been so sad lately - ever since his father left for work one morning and never returned. The sound of her crying woke him nightly, but when he’d go to her and ask what was wrong, she pretended nothing.
A bitter taste rose up his throat and his own tears stung his eyes. He blinked them back. His mother couldn’t see him sad. She needed his smiles more. He’d make her forget his father with laughter.