[ si-lep-sis ]
/ sɪˈlɛp sɪs /

noun, plural syl·lep·ses [si-lep-seez] /sɪˈlɛp siz/. Grammar.

the use of a word or expression to perform two syntactic functions, especially to modify two or more words of which at least one does not agree in number, case, or gender, as the use of are in Neither he nor we are willing.
Compare zeugma.

Origin of syllepsis

1570–80; < Medieval Latin syllēpsis < Greek sýllēpsis, equivalent to syl- syl- + lēb- (variant stem of lambánein to take) + -sis -sis


syl·lep·tic [si-lep-tik] /sɪˈlɛp tɪk/, adjectivesyl·lep·ti·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for syllepsis

British Dictionary definitions for syllepsis

/ (sɪˈlɛpsɪs) /

noun plural -ses (-siːz)

(in grammar or rhetoric) the use of a single sentence construction in which a verb, adjective, etc is made to cover two syntactical functions, as the verb form have in she and they have promised to come
another word for zeugma

Derived forms of syllepsis

sylleptic, adjectivesylleptically, adverb

Word Origin for syllepsis

C16: from Late Latin, from Greek sullēpsis, from sul- syn- + lēpsis a taking, from lambanein to take
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012