Aposiopesis

/ˌapə(ʊ)ˌsʌɪəˈpiːsɪs/

Origin

1570–80; < Late Latin < Greek: literally, a full silence, equivalent to aposiōpē- (verbid stem of aposiōpáein to be fully silent; apo- apo- + siōpáein to be silent) + -sis -sis (Source: dictionary.com)

Late 16th century via Latin from Greek aposiōpēsis, from aposiōpan ‘be silent’. (Source: lexico.com)

Definitions of Aposiopesis

Aposiopesis

noun

  1. a sudden breaking off in the midst of a sentence, as if from inability or unwillingness to proceed.
  2. rhetoric the device of suddenly breaking off in the middle of a sentence as if unwilling to continue

dictionary.com

Aposiopesis

noun

  1. The device of suddenly breaking off in speech.

lexico.com

Aposiopesis

noun

  1. : the leaving of a thought incomplete usually by a sudden breaking off (as in "his behavior was—but I blush to mention that")

merriam-webster.com

Example sentences for Aposiopesis

  1. There is either an aposiopesis or a line lost after this; I think the latter.
  2. There may have been, as Malone thought, a line lost here; but I rather think it is an aposiopesis.
  3. The aposiopesis was alarming, and Blarden's direction was obeyed instantaneously.
  4. There is perhaps an aposiopesis here; otherwise I should incline to read touch, as Mr. Knight and Collier's folio also read.
  5. Eustathius, and Clarke after him, understand an aposiopesis here, as if the speaker meant to say—what if there should be?

Related words & Synonyms

allegory, allusion, analogy, anticlimax, antithesis, bathos, comparison, conceit, device, euphemism, euphuism, exaggeration, expression, flourish, flower, hyperbole, image, imagery, irony, metaphor

Nearby words

aporepressor , aporia , aport , aposematic , aposematic coloration , apospory , apostasy , apostate , apostatize , apostaxis

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