aposiopesis

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

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The first known use of aposiopesis was in 1577

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Cite this Entry

“Aposiopesis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aposiopesis. Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on aposiopesis

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about aposiopesis

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