[ ih-lip-tik-lee ]


  1. in the form of an ellipse.
  2. in an elliptical manner; by an ellipse.
  3. with great economy of words or expression; concisely:

    to speak elliptically.

  4. without sufficient transition or a logical connection between thoughts, ideas, or expressions; ambiguously or cryptically:

    to jump elliptically from generalities to specifics.

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of elliptically1

First recorded in 1810–20; elliptical + -ly
Discover More

Example Sentences

Metadata is defined elliptically as “data that provides information about other data.”

Washington didn’t tend to speak so elliptically, or condescendingly.

From Vox

On television, stories may be told elliptically, but sitcoms still have their A and B plots.

President Obama has elliptically promised that a U.S.-led coalition will prevent Iran from obtaining the bomb.

That flits upon an orbit elliptically or parabolically or hyperbolically curved, keeping no man knows what trysts with Time.

Then, looking almost challengingly at one another, we began to speak rather quickly, and a little elliptically.

Aristotle used Enthymeme in the wider sense of an elliptically expressed argument.

Over the north side of the knees was an elliptically-shaped piece of cedar burned on the upper side.

"It's the back-block bend," he remarked elliptically, in the boat.





elliptical lightelliptical polarization