- The definition of a zeugma is a figure of speech where one word applies to multiple words within a sentence.
An example of a zeugma is saying that a woman's dress was blue and so was her mood.
- a figure of speech in which a single word, usually a verb or adjective, is syntactically related to two or more words, though having a different sense in relation to each (Ex.: The room was not light, but his fingers were)
Origin of zeugmaClassical Latin ; from Classical Greek literally , yoke
- A construction in which one word or phrase is understood to fill a parallel syntactic role in two or more clauses or phrases, as with the verb was in She was upstairs, and her husband downstairs.
Origin of zeugmaLatin, from Greek, a joining, bond; see yeug- in Indo-European roots.
(plural zeugmata or zeugmas)
- (rhetoric) The act of using a word, particularly an adjective or verb, to apply to more than one noun when its sense is appropriate to only one.
- (rhetoric) Syllepsis.
- Some writers distinguish between zeugma and syllepsis, while others do not.
From Ancient Greek ζεῦγμα (zeugma, “yoking; a bond, a band”), from ζεύγνυμι (zeugnumi, “to yoke; to join”), from ζεῦγος (zeugos, “a yoke”).