has two distinct meanings, but the root (from the Greek koptein
) is the same: to cut. In linguistics, syncope is the dropping of sounds or letters from the middle of a word. For example, you pronounce Gloucester like this: GLOS ter.
The second definition appears in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, where syncope means fainting, or a loss of consciousness. Here, Jane dreams that the moon transforms into her mother:
I dreamt I lay in the red-room at Gateshead; that the night was dark, and my mind impressed with strange fears. The light that long ago had struck me into syncope, recalled in this vision, seemed glidingly to mount the wall, and tremblingly to pause in the centre of the obscured ceiling.