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elliptical

[ih-lip-ti-kuh l] /ɪˈlɪp tɪ kəl/
adjective, Also, elliptic
1.
pertaining to or having the form of an ellipse.
2.
pertaining to or marked by grammatical ellipsis.
3.
(of speech or writing) expressed with extreme or excessive economy; relieved of irrelevant matter:
to converse in elliptical sentences.
4.
(of a style of speaking or writing) tending to be ambiguous, cryptic, or obscure:
an elliptical prose that is difficult to translate.
noun
5.
Astronomy, elliptical galaxy.
Origin
1650-1660
1650-60; < Greek elleiptik(ós) defective (see ellipsis, -tic) + -al1
Related forms
ellipticalness, noun
nonelliptic, adjective
nonelliptical, adjective
nonelliptically, adverb
overelliptical, adjective
overelliptically, adverb
subelliptic, adjective
subelliptical, adjective
unelliptical, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for elliptic
  • We know that local gravitation renders its local geometry elliptic, with positive curvature.
  • But the series of meetings was conducted in an atmosphere of elliptic generalities.
  • There is something in gauge theory called the elliptic sequence.
  • All the leaves that stand above the water are lanceolate to elliptic to ovate.
  • Glossy buckthorn has thin, glossy, ovate or elliptic leaves.
British Dictionary definitions for elliptic

elliptical

/ɪˈlɪptɪkəl/
adjective
1.
relating to or having the shape of an ellipse
2.
relating to or resulting from ellipsis
3.
(of speech, literary style, etc)
  1. very condensed or concise, often so as to be obscure or ambiguous
  2. circumlocutory or long-winded
Also (for senses 1, 2) elliptic
Derived Forms
elliptically, adverb
ellipticalness, noun
Usage note
The use of elliptical to mean circumlocutory should be avoided as it may be interpreted wrongly as meaning condensed or concise
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 elliptic
adj.

1726, from Greek elleiptikos "pertaining to an ellipse," from elleipein (see ellipsis).

elliptical

adj.

1650s, "elliptic in shape;" see elliptic + -al (1). Grammatical sense of "missing essential words or phrases" is recorded from 1778 (see ellipsis). Related: Elliptically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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