plural analepses
Eastern Church : the feast of Christ's ascension into heaven
: a literary technique that involves interruption of the chronological sequence of events by interjection of events or scenes of earlier occurrence
Through analepsis, Paul recounts the story of his uncle's mysterious disappearance and death during the violent days of October 1961 in Paris.Lia Brozgal, French Forum, 22 Mar. 2009
: a description of an event or scene from an earlier time that interrupts a chronological narrative : a literary flashback
… Balzac had criticized the style of the Chartreuse and its too-linear construction, advising the author to eliminate everything that comes before Waterloo and sum it up in an analepsisGérard Genette, Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation, 1997
In the course of the prophetic vision Artabanus also weaves in a brief analepsis, the Persian defeat at Marathon, … thereby countering Mardonius' falsely optimistic picture of the Greek enemy …Irene De Jong, Texts, Ideas, and the Classics: Scholarship, Theory, and Classical Literature, 2001

Word History


Late Greek analēpsis, from Greek, act of taking up, from ana- + lēpsis act of taking, from lambanein to take

First Known Use

1868, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of analepsis was in 1868

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Dictionary Entries Near analepsis

Cite this Entry

“Analepsis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

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