Elision is the term for leaving out letters in a word in order to form a shorter word-often a word with fewer syllables. Elision is often used in poetry and music in order to keep the rhythm. When the letters or sounds are omitted, they are replaced with an apostrophe.
Contractions are a specific type of elision, which are formed when two words are put together and an entire syllable is left out.
Examples of Elision from Poetry and Song
"I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o'er vales and hills."--William Wordsworth
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chapter door-
Only this and nothing more."--Edgar Allan Poe
"Angels we have heard on high sweetly singing o'er the plains."--Christmas Carol
"But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport."--Shakespeare
Literary Terms Examples