aposiopesis

noun
ap·​o·​si·​o·​pe·​sis | \ ˌa-pə-ˌsī-ə-ˈpē-səs How to pronounce aposiopesis (audio) \
plural aposiopeses\ -​ˌsēz How to pronounce aposiopeses (audio) \

Definition of aposiopesis

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

Other Words from aposiopesis

aposiopetic \ -​ˈpe-​tik How to pronounce aposiopetic (audio) \ adjective

First Known Use of aposiopesis

1577, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aposiopesis

Late Latin, from Greek aposiōpēsis, from aposiōpan to be fully silent, from apo- + siōpan to be silent, from siōpē silence

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about aposiopesis

Statistics for aposiopesis

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for aposiopesis

The first known use of aposiopesis was in 1577

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on aposiopesis

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about aposiopesis

Comments on aposiopesis

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
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!