the use of a word to modify or govern two or more words when it is appropriate to only one of them or is appropriate to each but in a different way, as in to wage war and peace or On his fishing trip, he caught three trout and a cold.: Compare syllepsis.
- zeug·mat·ic [zoog-mat-ik], /zugˈmæt ɪk/, adjective
- zeug·mat·i·cal·ly, adverb
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How to use zeugma in a sentence
There is a zeugma in speaks as applied to ‘thunder’ and ‘chains,’ unless it be taken as in both cases equivalent to denounces.Milton's Comus | John Milton
Lucullus appears to have crossed the Euphrates at a more northern point than zeugma, where the river was crossed by Crassus.Plutarch's Lives, Volume II | Aubrey Stewart & George Long
The young prince accordingly set out, and reached the city of zeugma in safety.
zeugma is either upon or near the site of Bir, which is in about 37° N. Lat.Plutarch's Lives Volume III. | Plutarch
British Dictionary definitions for zeugma
a figure of speech in which a word is used to modify or govern two or more words although appropriate to only one of them or making a different sense with each, as in the sentence Mr. Pickwick took his hat and his leave (Charles Dickens)
- zeugmatic (zjuːɡˈmætɪk), adjective
- zeugmatically, adverb
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