ellipsis

noun

el·​lip·​sis i-ˈlip-səs How to pronounce ellipsis (audio)
e-
plural ellipses i-ˈlip-ˌsēz How to pronounce ellipsis (audio)
e-
1
a
: the omission of one or more words that are obviously understood but that must be supplied to make a construction grammatically complete
b
: a sudden leap from one topic to another
2
: marks or a mark (such as … ) indicating an omission (as of words) or a pause

Examples of ellipsis in a Sentence

“Begin when ready” for “Begin when you are ready” is an example of ellipsis.
Recent Examples on the Web Too many times, Biden’s sentences meandered outward in odd ellipses from the center of their meaning, or petered out softly like a kite losing wind. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 28 June 2024 The screenshotted post does not show the account's full name, with the parody designation truncated and replaced with ellipses. Joedy McCreary, USA TODAY, 21 June 2024 If the rest of Zone remains difficult to misread, its ending is flush with interpretive possibilities, an enigmatic ellipsis. A.a. Dowd, Vulture, 10 Mar. 2024 The square brackets that conventionally indicate the first line of an untitled poem here surround an ellipsis, the typographical mark of omission. New York Times, 2 Nov. 2023 See all Example Sentences for ellipsis 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ellipsis.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Latin, from Greek elleipsis ellipsis, ellipse, from elleipein to leave out, fall short, from en in + leipein to leave — more at in, loan

First Known Use

1540, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of ellipsis was in 1540

Dictionary Entries Near ellipsis

Cite this Entry

“Ellipsis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ellipsis. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

ellipsis

noun
el·​lip·​sis i-ˈlip-səs How to pronounce ellipsis (audio)
e-
plural ellipses -ˈlip-ˌsēz How to pronounce ellipsis (audio)
1
: the leaving out of one or more words that are not necessary for a phrase to be understood
"begin when ready" for "begin when you are ready" is an example of ellipsis
2
: marks or a mark (as …) used to indicate that something (as words) has been left out

More from Merriam-Webster on ellipsis

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