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)
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.