from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A sudden breaking off of a thought in the middle of a sentence, as though the speaker were unwilling or unable to continue.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An abrupt breaking-off in speech.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A figure of speech in which the speaker breaks off suddenly, as if unwilling or unable to state what was in his mind.”
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In rhetoric, sudden reticence; the suppression by a speaker or writer of something which he seemed to be about to say; the sudden termination of a discourse before it is really finished.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. breaking off in the middle of a sentence (as by writers of realistic conversations)
Late Latin aposiōpēsis, from Greek, from aposiōpān, to become silent : apo-, intensive pref.; see apo- + siōpān, to be silent (from siōpē, silence).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin aposiopesis, from Ancient Greek ἀποσιώπησις (aposiopesis), from ἀποσιωπάω (aposiōpaō, "be silent"), from ἀπό (apo, "off, from") + σιωπάω (siōpaō, "to be silent"). (Wiktionary)