Definition of anaphor in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈanəˌfôr/


A word or phrase that refers to an earlier word or phrase (e.g., in my cousin said she was coming, she is used as an anaphor for my cousin).
Example sentences
  • In the latter case, a referential anaphor refers to what its antecedent refers to; the anaphor is thus said to be coreferential with its antecedent.
  • The latter case, where an anaphor refers to the set-theoretical difference of restrictor and scope, has been studied by both psycholinguists and formal semanticists.
  • The domain from which potential antecedents for both individual and discourse-deictic anaphors can be elicited is defined in terms of dialogue acts.


1970s: back-formation from anaphora.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: an·a·phor

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