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[ih-lip-sis] /ɪˈlɪp sɪs/
noun, plural ellipses
[ih-lip-seez] /ɪˈlɪp siz/ (Show IPA)
  1. the omission from a sentence or other construction of one or more words that would complete or clarify the construction, as the omission of who are, while I am, or while we are from I like to interview people sitting down.
  2. the omission of one or more items from a construction in order to avoid repeating the identical or equivalent items that are in a preceding or following construction, as the omission of been to Paris from the second clause of I've been to Paris, but they haven't.
Printing. a mark or marks as ——, …, or * * *, to indicate an omission or suppression of letters or words.
1560-70; < Latin ellīpsis < Greek élleipsis an omission, equivalent to el- (variant of en- en-2) + leip- (stem of leípein to leave) + -sis -sis Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ellipsis
  • Of course, the bit after the ellipsis might provide a reason for the lack of public denial.
  • Anything following an ellipsis is a friend of mine for the night.
  • All the buildings are arranged under a figure described by an ellipsis.
  • White lamp shades are refrains of the ellipsis motif.
  • She turned back to proofreading, finding a space that needed to be closed up between a word and an ellipsis.
  • The two share an affection for understatement and ellipsis, but they are otherwise completely different.
  • All that's left is an ellipsis to indicate that something is missing.
  • At the end of a sentence, an ellipsis should be written as.
  • ellipsis button, which accesses probabilistic inputs.
  • For example, there is an ellipsis button to select a school code.
British Dictionary definitions for ellipsis


noun (pl) -ses (-siːz)
Also called eclipsis. omission of parts of a word or sentence
(printing) a sequence of three dots (…) indicating an omission in text
Word Origin
C16: from Latin, from Greek elleipsis omission, from elleipein to leave out, from leipein to leave
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ellipsis

1560s, "an ellipse," from Latin ellipsis, from Greek elleipsis "a falling short, defect, ellipse," from elleipein "to fall short, leave out," from en- "in" + leipein "to leave" (see relinquish). Grammatical sense first recorded 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ellipsis in Culture
ellipsis [(i-lip-sis)]

A punctuation mark (&ellipsis;) used most often within quotations to indicate that something has been left out. For example, if we leave out parts of the above definition, it can read: “A punctuation mark (&ellipsis;) used most often &ellipsis; to indicate&ellipsis4;”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for ellipsis

figure of speech characterized by the deliberate omission of a word or words that are, however, understood in light of the grammatical context. The device is exemplified in W.H. Auden's poem "This Lunar Beauty": But this was neverA ghost's endeavorNor finished this,Was ghost at ease;And till it passLove shall not nearThe sweetness hereNor sorrow takeHis endless look.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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