American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth 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.
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. The word is also applied to the act of speaking of a thing while pretending to say nothing about it, or of aggravating what one pretends to conceal by uttering a part and leaving the remainder to be understood: as, his character is such—but it is better I should not speak of that.
- n. rhetoric An abrupt breaking-off in speech.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Rhet.) A figure of speech in which the speaker breaks off suddenly, as if unwilling or unable to state what was in his mind.”
- n. breaking off in the middle of a sentence (as by writers of realistic conversations)
- From Latin aposiopesis, from Ancient Greek ἀποσιώπησις (aposiopesis), from ἀποσιωπάω (aposiōpaō, "be silent"), from ἀπό (apo, "off, from") + σιωπάω (siōpaō, "to be silent"). (Wiktionary)
- 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)
“LOL It's called aposiopesis when you end a sentence with an ellipsis; look it up.”
“Also, when writing a statement using aposiopesis should use an em dash, rather then an ellipsis.”
“No, aposiopesis means stopping a sentence short, which you did not do.”
“There is no figurative language here; but there is the figure of aposiopesis, which (since it's just an artful breaking off of a sentence) is never figurative (in the sense we usually mean).”
“Take this famous example of aposiopesis, which ends Sterne's A Sentimental Journey:”
“First, they imagine, in this clause, the use of the figure aposiopesis, according to which something not expressed is understood; then they begin a new sentence, 'He shall be punished sevenfold,' which they refer to Cain.”
“I was briefly admonished to see that I wrote worse for the future, or else ---- At this aposiopesis I looked enquiringly at the speaker, and he filled up the chasm by saying, that he would "annihilate" me.”
“Tamar's answer, "if thou wilt give a pledge until thou send it," is an unfinished statement, an aposiopesis, the omitted conclusion being, "I shall be satisfied.”
“So ..." said Mr. Carmyle, becoming articulate, and allowed an impressive aposiopesis to take the place of the rest of the speech.”
“If you will have it," said Alf, with fine aposiopesis.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘aposiopesis’.
A collection of words found in English that are either purely Greek or have Greek etymology.
Please add with caution and certainty. Will be regularly updated by me.
Not just rare words, but thousands of RARE WORDS WITH DEFINITIONS.
If you want to see the definitions, too, go to
These come from gamma meditation ,I think.
Trinkets of lexical goodness.
"Luciferous Logolepsy is a collection of over 9,000 obscure English words. Though the definition of an 'English' word might seem to be straightforward, it is not. There exist so many adopted, deriv...
every major discipline has uniquely developed esoteric nomenclature to facilitate interdisciplinary dissemination
Talking about talking, writing about writing, etc.
words wot i already knew
a couple words
Looking for tweets for aposiopesis.