Definitions

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

  • n. A construction in which a word governs two or more other words but agrees in number, gender, or case with only one, or has a different meaning when applied to each of the words, as in He lost his coat and his temper.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A figure of speech in which one word simultaneously modifies two or more other words such that the modification must be understood differently with respect to each modified word; often causing humorous incongruity
  • n. Growth in which lateral branches develop from a lateral meristem, without the formation of a bud or period of dormancy, when the lateral meristem is split from a terminal meristem.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A figure of speech by which a word is used in a literal and metaphorical sense at the same time.
  • n. The agreement of a verb or adjective with one, rather than another, of two nouns, with either of which it might agree in gender, number, etc.; as, rex et regina beati.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In rhetoric and grammar: A figure by which a word is used in the same passage both of the person to whom or the thing to which it properly applies, and also to include other persons or things to which it does not apply properly or strictly.
  • n. A figure by which one word is referred to another in the sentence to which it does not grammatically belong, as the agreement of a verb or an adjective with one rather than another of two nouns with either of which it might agree: as, rex et regina beati.

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

  • n. use of a word to govern two or more words though agreeing in number or case etc. with only one

Etymologies

Late Latin syllēpsis, from Greek sullēpsis : sun-, syn- + lēpsis, a taking (from lambanein, to take).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin syllepsis, from Ancient Greek σύλληψις (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • JM agrees that we must all use syllepsis together or assuredly we will all use syllepsis separately.

    March 24, 2011