Definition of anaphora in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈnaf(ə)rə/


[mass noun]
1 Grammar The use of a word referring back to a word used earlier in a text or conversation, to avoid repetition, for example the pronouns he, she, it, and they and the verb do in I like it and so do they. Compare with cataphora.
Example sentences
  • Binding is concerned with the type of anaphora found with pronouns and reflexives, but the notion is greatly extended.
  • Null complement anaphora refers to an elliptical construction in which a VP or IP complement of a verb is dropped.
  • In similar examples involving not coordination but anaphora (zero or overt), it's much easier to get away with this sort of denotation switching.
2 Rhetoric The repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses.
Example sentences
  • An analysis of this speech reveals that the student used varied repetition strategies, including anaphora, antithesis, chiasmus, and parallelism.
  • Many of the poems in Lateness use anaphora as a vehicle against time because it allows for sensual expressions of textures.
  • Through alliteration, anaphora, parallelism and slant-rhyme, Sleigh builds momentum into the eleven, rhythmic couplets and suggests a train's smooth travel.
3 Christian Church The part of the Eucharist which contains the consecration, anamnesis, and communion.
Example sentences
  • This is a far cry from Corbon's more simplistic description of the Eucharistic canon as prelude, liturgy of the word, anaphora, communion, and finale.
  • The aspect of anaphora is developed by John Zizioulas, ‘Ministry,’ in contrast to its baptismal withdrawal from the world.
  • The paradigm which the Eucharist expresses can be usefully described, I think, in terms of a threefold succession of ideas: ecclesia, anaphora, and diaspora.



Pronunciation: /anəˈfɒrɪk/
Example sentences
  • Text modifications that increase coherence range from low-level information, such as identifying anaphoric referents, synonymous terms, or connective ties, to supplying background information left unstated in the text.
  • When an expression referring to an antecedent utterance is substituted for ‘x’ in ‘x is true,’ the resulting claim will have the same content as its anaphoric antecedent.
  • But (I think) all of the examples in those earlier discussions involved some kind of null complement, where an object is omitted as generic or habitual or anaphoric or otherwise unneeded.


Pronunciation: /ˌanəˈfɒrɪk(ə)lɪ/
Example sentences
  • The title is repeated anaphorically at the beginning of each stanza to develop a series of domestic and natural images that express the pleasure of receiving a Christmas card from a far-flung friend.
  • The pronoun form ‘they’ is anaphorically linked in the discourse to this person.
  • Even though these anaphorically used pronouns were not very frequent, it is interesting that they occur.


Late 16th century: sense 1, sense 2 via Latin from Greek, 'repetition', from ana- 'back' + pherein 'to bear'; sense 3 from late Greek.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: an¦aph|ora

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