When the final section or syllable of a word is cut off, it's called an apocope. The word "photo" is an apocope of "photograph."

While some apocopes appear in speech simply due to the way a person pronounces a word — saying mos instead of most, for example — most of them function more like nicknames for longer words. The now-common word zoo began as an apocope for zoological, and nearly everyone knows what you mean if you say obit instead of obituary. The word is rooted in the Greek apokoptein, "cutting off," from apo-, "away from," and koptein, "to cut."

Definitions of apocope
  1. noun
    abbreviation of a word by omitting the final sound or sounds
    “the British get `pud' from `pudding' by apocope
    see moresee less
    type of:
    a shortened form of a word or phrase
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week