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[uh-naf-er-uh] /əˈnæf ər ə/
Also called epanaphora. Rhetoric. repetition of a word or words at the beginning of two or more successive verses, clauses, or sentences.
Compare epistrophe (def 1), symploce.
Grammar. the use of a word as a regular grammatical substitute for a preceding word or group of words, as the use of it and do in I know it and he does too.
Compare cataphora.
(sometimes initial capital letter) Eastern Church.
  1. the prayer of oblation and consecration in the Divine Liturgy during which the Eucharistic elements are offered.
  2. the part of the ceremony during which the Eucharistic elements are offered as an oblation.
1580-90; < Late Latin < Greek: a bringing back, repeating, equivalent to ana- ana- + -phora, akin to phérein to carry, bring; cf. -phore, -phorous
Related forms
anaphoral, adjective
preanaphoral, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for anaphora
  • Reviews theories on discourse and sentential anaphora.
British Dictionary definitions for anaphora


(grammar) the use of a word such as a pronoun that has the same reference as a word previously used in the same discourse. In the sentence John wrote the essay in the library but Peter did it at home, both did and it are examples of anaphora Compare cataphora, exophoric
(rhetoric) the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses
Word Origin
C16: via Latin from Greek: repetition, from anapherein, from ana- + pherein to bear
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for anaphora

"repetition of a word or phrase in successive clauses," 1580s, from Latin, from Greek anaphora "reference," literally "a carrying back," from anapherein "to carry back, to bring up," from ana "back" (see ana-) + pherein "to bear" (see infer).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for anaphora

(Greek: "a carrying up or back"), a literary or oratorical device involving the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of several sentences or clauses, as in the well-known passage from the Old Testament (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2) that begins:For everything there is a season, and a timefor every matter under heaven:a time to be born, and a time to die;a time to plant, and a time to pluck upwhat is planted; . . .

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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