- a sudden breaking off in the midst of a sentence, as if from inability or unwillingness to proceed.
Origin of aposiopesis
Related Words for aposiopesisallegory, allusion, analogy, anticlimax, antithesis, bathos, comparison, conceit, device, euphemism, euphuism, exaggeration, expression, flourish, flower, hyperbole, image, imagery, irony, metaphor
Examples from the Web for aposiopesis
Historical Examples of aposiopesis
His aposiopesis suggested that there would be uproar and danger to life.The Education of Eric Lane
The aposiopesis was alarming, and Blarden's direction was obeyed instantaneously.The Cock and Anchor
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Eustathius, and Clarke after him, understand an aposiopesis here, as if the speaker meant to say—what if there should be?The Odyssey of Homer
Though in my edition I have made here an aposiopesis, I think it more probable that a line has been lost.
There may have been, as Malone thought, a line lost here; but I rather think it is an aposiopesis.
- rhetoric the device of suddenly breaking off in the middle of a sentence as if unwilling to continue
Word Origin for aposiopesis
rhetorical artifice wherein the speaker suddenly breaks off in the middle of a sentence, 1570s, from Latin, from Greek aposiopesis "a becoming silent," also as a rhetorical figure, from apo- (see apo-) + siope "silence."