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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.
Origin of ellipsis
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
Contemporary Examples
  • But I noticed that when you quoted this section on page 116, you left “general welfare” out and put an ellipsis in its place.

Historical Examples
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 (...) 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 (...) used most often ... to indicate....”

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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