- pertaining to or having the form of an ellipse.
- pertaining to or marked by grammatical ellipsis.
- (of speech or writing) expressed with extreme or excessive economy; relieved of irrelevant matter: to converse in elliptical sentences.
- (of a style of speaking or writing) tending to be ambiguous, cryptic, or obscure: an elliptical prose that is difficult to translate.
- Astronomy. elliptical galaxy.
Origin of elliptical
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for elliptic
Genius is synthetic, elliptic, sudden, but always clear and sure.The Goat-gland Transplantation
Sydney B. Flower
According to Pausanias, it was made of cedar-wood, and elliptic in shape.Museum of Antiquity
L. W. Yaggy
From what does the elliptic motion in the solar system arise?
This elliptic orbit is mainly determined by the attraction of the sun.
These are the ends of elliptic cylinders in connection with the vaulting.Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of St. Paul
- relating to or having the shape of an ellipse
- relating to or resulting from ellipsis
- (of speech, literary style, etc)
- very condensed or concise, often so as to be obscure or ambiguous
- circumlocutory or long-winded
Also (for senses 1, 2): elliptic
The use of elliptical to mean circumlocutory should be avoided as it may be interpreted wrongly as meaning condensed or concise
Word Origin and History for elliptic
1726, from Greek elleiptikos "pertaining to an ellipse," from elleipein (see ellipsis).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper