aposiopesis

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin aposiopesis, from Ancient Greek ἀποσιώπησις (aposiṓpēsis), from ἀποσιωπάω (aposiōpáō, be silent), from ἀπό (apó, off, from) + σιωπάω (siōpáō, to be silent).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˌæpəsaɪəˈpiːsɪs/
  • Hyphenation: apo‧si‧o‧pe‧sis
Examples (breaking off in speech)

I can't even ...
But didn't she—
How could you ...

Noun[edit]

aposiopesis (plural aposiopeses)

  1. (rhetoric) An abrupt breaking-off in speech, often indicated in print using an ellipsis () or an em dash ().

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