analepsis

noun an·a·lep·sis \ ˌanəˈlepsə̇s \

Definition of analepsis

plural analepses \-(ˌ)sēz\
1 Eastern Church :the feast of Christ's ascension into heaven
2 a :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 BrozgalFrench Forum22 Mar. 2009
b :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 analepsis
  • —Gérard GenetteParatexts: Thresholds of Interpretation1997
  • 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 JongTexts, Ideas, and the Classics: Scholarship, Theory, and Classical Literature2001

There's more!

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!
Already a subscriber? Log in.

Origin and Etymology of analepsis

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


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up analepsis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

smooth or hairless

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized-drawing-of-woman-pole-vaulting-across-gap-to-get-trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!