A sudden breaking off of a thought in the middle of a sentence, as though the speaker were unwilling or unable to continue.
A sudden breaking off of a thought in the middle of a sentence as if one were unable or unwilling to continue (Ex.: the horrors I saw there—but I dare not tell them)
(rhetoric) An abrupt breaking-off in speech.
Origin of aposiopesis
- Late Latin aposiōpēsis from Greek from aposiōpān to become silent apo- intensive pref. apo– siōpān to be silent (from siōpē silence)
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Latin aposiopesis, from Ancient Greek ἀποσιώπησις (aposiopesis), from ἀποσιωπάω (aposiōpaō, “be silent”), from ἀπό (apo, “off, from”) + σιωπάω (siōpaō, “to be silent”).