Definition of elliptical in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪˈlɪptɪk(ə)l/


1(Of speech or writing) using or involving ellipsis, especially so as to be difficult to understand: elliptical colloquial exchanges she had completely misunderstood his elliptical declaration
More example sentences
  • At times, elliptical speech or writing is so concise that listeners and readers must supply missing elements through guesswork or special knowledge, and if they cannot, they fail to understand.
  • In each case, elliptical writing conveys too little.
  • I know about than the preposition vs. than the introducer of elliptical clauses, but this example took me (intuitively, not analytically) aback.
terse, concise, succinct, compact, economic, brief, laconic, sparing, pithy, curt, clipped;
abstruse, cryptic, ambiguous, obscure, incomprehensible, unfathomable, oblique, recondite, Delphic
2 another term for elliptic.
Example sentences
  • Its elliptical paraboloid shape was selected because it could be easily described mathematically, simplifying both design and construction.
  • He guessed that the original cutting stylus was defective and so he tried a custom-made reproducing stylus, instead of the usual conical or elliptical styli.
  • The north face of the building is concave, completing the elliptical pattern that begins in the courtyard.



Pronunciation: /ɪˈlɪptɪk(ə)li/
Example sentences
  • As he moved from protest singer to surrealistic prophet, from born-again Christian to born-again Jew, Dylan's life and music registered, however unwillingly or elliptically, his times.
  • I've been interviewing various players in this little drama for some time now - something I've alluded to elliptically in a few posts over the last couple months.
  • By combining a weak horizontal magnetic field with a strong vertical magnetic field, we can extract light that is elliptically polarized.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: el¦lip|tic¦al

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