Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The omission of conjunctions from constructions in which they would normally be used, as in "Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,/Shrunk to this little measure?” ( Shakespeare).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A stylistic scheme in which conjunctions are deliberately omitted from a series of words, phrases, clauses.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A figure which omits the connective. It stands opposed to polysyndeton.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In rhetoric, a figure of speech consisting in the omission of connectives, as in the following passage:
  • n. It is the opposite of polysyndeton, which is a multiplication of connectives.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the omission of conjunctions where they would normally be used

Etymologies

Late Latin, from Greek asundeton, from neuter of asundetos, without conjunctions : a-, not; see a-1 + sundetos, bound together (from sundein, to bind together : sun-, syn- + dein, to bind).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek ἀσύνδετον (asundeton, "unconnected"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • W. Sean McLaughlin, of Alexandria, Virginia, wrote, I was immediately inspired by the arcane grammatical term asyndeton [defined in the American Heritage Dictionary as 'the omission of conjunctions from constructions in which they would normally be used'] and thought minor modifications might yield the right meaning: a-senditon.

    Word Fugitives

  • [23] The "asyndeton" would seem to mark a pause, unless some words have dropped out.

    The Economist

  • This figure often occurs public address with others such as antithesis, anaphora, asyndeton, climax, epistrophe and symploce.

    Rhetorical Figures in Sound: Parallelism

  • Therefore the figure asyndeton, whereby conjunctions are omitted, is highly commended by writers of rhetoric.

    Essays and Miscellanies

  • Grant points out to me the asyndeton following _quaere ... sintne_.

    The Last Poems of Ovid

  • According to the manuscripts the preceding line ends with VTAR; I have printed Heinsius 'VSVS, since there would otherwise be an asyndeton between _utar_ and _aspiciam_.

    The Last Poems of Ovid

  • = The asyndeton in this distich is odd, given the preceding series of connectives.

    The Last Poems of Ovid

  • Lot makes his summons urgent: "Rise, go forth" -- effective asyndeton.

    Exposition of Genesis: Volume 1

  • The asyndeton of the last clause marks the writer's (or speaker's) indignation.

    Exposition of Genesis: Volume 1

  • A certain abruptness characterizes the style at this point, first, by the use of the asyndeton: "morning came" or "became light" ( 'or); then, by the use of successive perfects, also in v. 4 (K.S. 119).

    Exposition of Genesis: Volume 1

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  • "In some ways, he was this town at its best--strong, hard-driving, working feverishly, pushing, building, driven by ambitions so big they seemed Texas-boastful."
    (Mike Royko, "A Tribute")

    July 14, 2011

  • "By analyzing this "modern art of everyday expression" as it appears in accounts of spatial practices, J.-F. Augoyard discerns in it two especially fundamental stylistic figures: synecdoche and asyndeton."
    The Practice of Everyday Life by Michel de Certeau, p 101

    March 25, 2011

  • cf. polysyndeton, "Two all-beef patties and special sauce and lettuce and cheese and pickles and onions on a sesame seed bun" might be called a Mcpolysyndeton.

    January 17, 2009

  • Peas, beans, barley, corn, clawfoot tubs, ideas.

    January 17, 2009

  • March 29, 2007