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2 years ago
0

antimetabole

PRONUNCIATION:
(AN-ti-muh-TAB-uh-lee)

MEANING:
noun: A repetition of words or an idea in a reverse order.
Example: "To fail to plan is to plan to fail."

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek antimetabole, from anti- (opposite) + metabole (change), from meta- (after, along) + bole (a throw). Earliest documented use: 1589.

USAGE:
"Carl Sagan's antimetabole 'absence of evidence is not evidence of absence' immediately comes to mind."
Dieter Hartmann; A Multi-Messenger Story; Nature (London, UK); Jul 21, 2011.

2 years ago
0

zeugma

PRONUNCIATION:
(ZOOG-muh)

MEANING:
noun: The use of a word to refer to two or more words, especially in different senses.
Examples: "He caught a fish and a cold" or "She lost her ring and her temper."

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin zeugma, from Greek zeugma (a joining). Ultimately from the Indo-European root yeug- (to join), which is also the ancestor of junction, yoke, yoga, adjust, juxtapose, junta, junto, syzygy, jugular, and rejoinder. Earliest documented use: 1589.

NOTES:
There's a similar term, syllepsis, but the two are more or less synonymous now. You could say zeugma is joined with syllepsis. Or the distinction between zeugma and syllepsis has lapsed now.

USAGE:
"One, Mister Eisenschmutz, gaunt, small, elegant, his head covered with a kepele in embroidered silk, prays with fervor and a French accent (this is a rhetorical zeugma of the sort 'I'm Hungarian and robbed')."
Adam Biro (translator: Catherine Tihanyi); Is It Good for the Jews?; The University of Chicago Press; 2009.

2 years ago
0

synecdoche

PRONUNCIATION:
(si-NEK-duh-kee)

MEANING:
noun: A figure of speech in which a part stands for the whole or vice versa.
Examples: "head count" to refer to the count of people or "the police" to refer to a police officer

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin synekdoche, from Greek synekdokhe, from syn- (together) + ekdokhe (interpretation). Earliest documented use: 1397.

USAGE:
"Rome was the heart of Italy, a synecdoche for all that humanity had wrought. Rome bore witness to the fate of republics and empires, faiths and fortunes."
Jane Kamensky; John Singleton Copley's Grand Tour; Smithsonian (Washington, DC); Apr 2014.

2 years ago
0

epanalepsis

PRONUNCIATION:
(ep-uh-nuh-LEP-sis)

MEANING:
noun: A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is repeated after intervening text.
Example: "The king is dead, long live the king!"

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek epanalepsis, from epi- (upon) + ana- (back) + lepsis (taking hold). Earliest documented use: 1584.

USAGE:
"What's it called if a word that appears at the beginning of a sentence is repeated at its end? Epanalepsis. Think of Brutus's speech at the funeral of Julius Caesar (in Shakespeare's revision, of course): 'Hear me for my cause, and be silent that you may hear: Believe me for mine honor, and have respect to mine honor, that you may believe.'"
Bryan A. Garner; For the Word Lovers; ABA Journal (Chicago); May 2013.

2 years ago
0

hendiadys

PRONUNCIATION:
(hen-DY-uh-dis)

MEANING:
noun: A figure of speech in which two words joined by a conjunction are used to convey a single idea instead of using a word and its modifier.
Example: "pleasant and warm" instead of "pleasantly warm"

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin hendiadys, from Greek hen dia duoin (one by two). Earliest documented use: 1589.

2 years ago
0

Ophelian

PRONUNCIATION:
(o-FEE-lee-uhn)

MEANING:
adjective: Displaying madness, suicidal tendencies, and similar characteristics.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Ophelia, a character in Shakespeare's Hamlet, who is driven to insanity and kills herself. Earliest documented use: 1903.

USAGE:
"She had an Ophelian streak of potential craziness that he had, since day one, deemed wiser to steer clear of."
Jean-Christophe Valtat; Aurorarama; Melville House; 2010.

2 years ago
0

benedict

PRONUNCIATION:
(BEN-i-dikt)

MEANING:
noun: A newly married man, especially one who was previously thought to be a confirmed bachelor.

ETYMOLOGY:
From alteration of Benedick, character in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. Earliest documented use: 1821.

USAGE:
"Columbus Moise, the old bachelor lawyer, who is soon to be a benedict, answered the toast."
Miguel Antonio Otero; My Life on the Frontier, 1882-1897; 1935.

See more usage examples of benedict in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

2 years ago
0

Hamlet

PRONUNCIATION:
(HAM-lit)

MEANING:
noun:
1. An apprehensive, indecisive person.
2. A small village.

ETYMOLOGY:
For 1: After Hamlet, the prince of Denmark in Shakespeare's play Hamlet. The opening of Hamlet's soliloquy "To be, or not to be" is among the best-known lines in literature. Earliest documented use: 1903.
For 2: From Old French hamelet, diminutive of hamel (village), which itself is a diminutive of ham (village). Ultimately from the Indo-European root tkei- (to settle or dwell), which also gave us home, haunt, hangar, and site. Earliest documented use: 1330.

NOTES:
The idiom "Hamlet without the Prince" is used to refer to an event or a performance taking place without its main character.

USAGE:
"With some he is a Hamlet, a divided man who is always questioning himself."
John S. Dunne; Time And Myth; University of Notre Dame Press; 2012.

"The Baroness was right on one point: he was a Hamlet; his soliloquy might have run, 'To be married or not to be married / That is the question.'"
Herbert Leibowitz; "Something Urgent I Have to Say to You": The Life and Works of William Carlos Williams; Farrar, Straus, and Giroux; 2011.

2 years ago
0

Bardolphian

PRONUNCIATION:
(bar-DOL-fee-uhn)

MEANING:
adjective: Having a red complexion, especially a red nose.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Bardolph, a character in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Henry V, and The Merry Wives of Windsor, who was noted for his red nose. Earliest documented use: 1756. Another character from these plays who has become a word in English is Falstaff.

USAGE:
"The man, who had flushed a Bardolphian hue from the excitement, unlocked a drawer."
Matthew Pearl; The Dante Club; Random House; 2003.

"His cheeks were plump and sanguine; his eyes bright and cheerful; and the tip of his nose glowed with a Bardolphian fire."
Nathaniel Hawthorne; Fanshawe; Marsh and Capen; 1828.

2 years ago
0

Polonian

PRONUNCIATION:
(po-LO-nee-uhn)

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Abounding in aphoristic expressions.
2. A native or inhabitant of Poland.

ETYMOLOGY:
For 1: After Polonius, a courtier and the father of Ophelia in Shakespeare's play Hamlet, known for his moralistic aphorisms. Earliest documented use: 1847.
For 2: From Latin Polonia (Poland). Earliest documented use: 1533.