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prolepsis (anticipation) +‎ -ic


  • IPA(key): /pɹoʊˈlɛptɪk/
  • (file)


proleptic (comparative more proleptic, superlative most proleptic)

  1. (of a calendar) Extrapolated to dates prior to its first adoption; of those used to adjust to or from the Julian calendar or Gregorian calendar.
    • 1999, Kenneth R. Lang, Astrophysical Formulae: Space, Time, Matter and Cosmology, volume II, Springer, →ISBN, page 70:
      The Julian proleptic calendar is formed by applying the rules of the Julian calendar to times before Caesar's reform, and the Julian date (JD) specifies the particular instant of a day by ending the Julian day number with the fraction of the day elapsed since the preceding Greenwich noon.
    • 2018, Ian Chivers, Jane Sleightholme, Introduction to Programming with Fortran, Springer, →ISBN, page 535:
      The proleptic Gregorian calendar is produced by extending the Gregorian calendar backwards to dates preceding its official introduction in 1582.
    • 2022, Tomasz Lelek, Jon Skeet, Software Mistakes and Tradeoffs: How to Make Good Programming Decisions, Simon and Schuster, →ISBN, page 155:
      The .NET epoch is midnight at the start of January 1st, AD 1, although that's AD 1 in a proleptic Gregorian calendar, which refers to even more complexity we haven't talked about yet.
  2. (of an event) Assigned a date that is too early.
    • 1985 June, Anthony Burgess, “The Prisoner of Fame”, in The Atlantic[1]:
      Herbert Gorman’s life of Joyce was written not only when Finnegans Wake was a long way from completion but with the handicap of the subject himself insisting on a hagiography featuring a prolonged, if proleptic, martyrdom.
    • 1989, W. Paul Jones, Theological Worlds, Nashville: Abingdon Press, page 151:
      In World Two, Jesus can be seen as the proleptic event, giving promise of God's vindication of creation in and through history.
  3. (rhetoric) Anticipating and answering objections before they have been raised.
    Synonyms: anticipatory, procataleptic
    • 1844, Thomas De Quincey, “Greece Under the Romans”, in Blackwood's Magazine:
      A far-seeing or proleptic wisdom.
    • 2015 September 8, Alex Preston, “Submission by Michel Houellebecq review – satire that’s more subtle than it seems”, in The Guardian[2], →ISSN:
      Submission, as is fitting for a dystopia written in the mode of the “not yet”, ends in a proleptic future tense, speaking of what will come for François and (with rather less authorial interest) for the people of France.
    • 2017 August 26, Bret Stephens, “Tips for Aspiring Op-Ed Writers”, in The New York Times[3], →ISSN:
      8) Be proleptic, a word that comes from the Greek for “anticipation.” That is, get the better of the major objection to your argument by raising and answering it in advance.

Related terms[edit]




Borrowed from French proleptique.


proleptic m or n (feminine singular proleptică, masculine plural proleptici, feminine and neuter plural proleptice)

  1. proleptic