Also found in: Thesaurus.


n. pl. an·a·co·lu·thons or an·a·co·lu·tha (-thə)
An abrupt change within a sentence to a second construction inconsistent with the first, sometimes used for rhetorical effect; for example, I warned him that if he continues to drink, what will become of him?

[Late Latin, from Late Greek anakolouthon, inconsistency in logic, from Greek, neuter of anakolouthos, inconsistent : an-, not; see a-1 + akolouthos, following (a-, together; see sem- in Indo-European roots + keleuthos, path).]

an′a·co·lu′thic adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.anacoluthic - of or related to syntactic inconsistencies of the sort known as anacoluthons
rhetoric - study of the technique and rules for using language effectively (especially in public speaking)
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
From the anacoluthic mash-up of Stretchers to the ribald sonneteering of In the Assarts, his work tends to elicit laughter more frequently than is typical for poetry.
HEADLAND Risen like a sewer of precognition, of lacertilian biotite folds, cerebral lobes, anacoluthic evocations of Coatlicue, risen directly from Tory Island's ocean floor, cankered into its own principle of petri-growth, with heather, like rooted nightcrawlers, swarming between the bony plates extending along its crest, Dun Bhaloir turns its headless head to eyelessly stare into the Atlantic's horizontal dark blue depth-- flat shades, which are a banished Adam to this apple-tree abyss of erective crag.
4.) But the very need for such an explanatory note reflects - if this is the solution - what an abrupt, even anacoluthic way this would be to communicate the point.