antanaclasis

noun ant·anac·la·sis \ ˌan-tə-ˈna-klə-səs \

Definition of antanaclasis

: the repetition of a word within a phrase or sentence in which the second occurrence utilizes a different and sometimes contrary meaning from the first
  • … believes the “Word” … in John 1:1 represents the figure antanaclasis … and changes its meaning each time it is repeated in a manner similar to Ben Franklin's quip, “We must all hang together or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
  • Ventura County Star6 Sept. 1997

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 antanaclasis

borrowed from Latin (cited in Greek form in Quintilian), borrowed from Greek antanáklasis “reflection, echo,” from ant-1anti- + anáklasis “bending back, reflection”


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up antanaclasis? 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

of, relating to, or being an oracle

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman-tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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!