Also found in: Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to anacoluthon: aposiopesis


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.


n, pl -tha (-θə)
(Rhetoric) rhetoric a construction that involves the change from one grammatical sequence to another within a single sentence; an example of anacoluthia
[C18: from Late Latin, from Greek anakolouthon, from anakolouthos not consistent, from an- + akolouthos following]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌæn ə kəˈlu θɒn)

n., pl. -tha (-thə).
a grammatical construction involving a break in sequence or coherence, as It makes me so - I just get angry.
[1700–10; < Greek anakólouthon, neuter of anakólouthos not following =an- an-1 + akólouthos marching together (a- together + -kolouthos, derivative of kéleuthos road, march)]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


a lack of grammatical sequence or coherence, as “He ate cereal, fruit, and went to the store.” Also anacoluthia.anacoluthic, adj.
See also: Grammar
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.anacoluthon - an abrupt change within a sentence from one syntactic structure to another
rhetorical device - a use of language that creates a literary effect (but often without regard for literal significance)
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[ˌænəkəˈluːθɒn] N (anacolutha (pl)) [ˌænəkəˈluːθə]anacoluto m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
referring to the enemies; the anacoluthon would be tolerable (see Miller 2013: 395 n.
Andersen's version borders on anacoluthon, the rhetorical term for the breakdown of syntactical logic and order.
Turato recites invented catchphrases--"I misspent my time twice, I live my life and then I talk about it"--that absorb her listeners, who try to discern a thread, a narrative, through the haze of anacoluthon, the familiar-sounding prattle.
Pellicer-Ortin also states that the novel has recourse to narrative techniques ranging from free association of ideas to direct and indirect interior monologues, ellipses, anachronisms, anaphora, anacoluthon, and the figurative use of images (111-120).
(The anacoluthon in the period, with [phrase omitted] opening the conclusion, will not result unfamiliar to any reader of Aristotle.) If the argument runs as I claim, its premisses guarantee only the first element of the definiens: "if character results from habituation, habituation in turn via repetition of movements imposed from without eventually renders something capable of itself activating movement, and repetition of movements imposed from without on inanimate beings never issues in such result, then character must belong to a soul." The other elements of the definiens may be implied in the reasoning in the way Woods (1992, p.99) claims, but are made explicit only in II 1 1219b26-1220a12.
Geoffrey Hill articulates the force of this "uncouth anacoluthon": "It is a great moment, one of the greatest grammatical moments in nineteenth-century English poetry.
The name for this linguistic interference in rhetoric is anacoluthon. (7)
Hillis Miller demonstrates in his analysis of the anacoluthon, (11) each time a speaker lies, he or she becomes two speaking subjects, the I that promises the truth and the I that speaks the falsehood.
But, at the very least, I suspect he'd be intrigued by one of the more exotic-sounding linguistic disorders Target Margin cites in its Vanya notes: The technical term is "anacoluthon," and it's triggered by emotional stales as various as excitement, confusion and laziness--all of which loom large in Chekhov's plays.
What the poet can do is invoke the immanence of nature by articulating its resistance to textual enframing, employing figural logic--the correspondences of metaphor, the extensions of catachresis, the attributions of metonymy, the substitutions of synecdoche, the inversions of chiasmus, the ruptures of anacoluthon, the subversions of irony, the opacities of paradox, the invocations of apostrophe, and the mimicries of onomatopoeia (to gather but a handful or two of pertinent figures)--to connote nature's diversity, flux, and supersession of univocal diminution.
Hayakawa had an enormous influence on the young men and women studying the art of language at that time, as the excerpt from Dow's poem For the Nonce demonstrates in such lines as, Language at its simplest has this power to enact tragic delight, especially as it begins to sing in lines or The tension of his abrupt enjambments, the stuttered definitions, shifting vectors in syntax which, cut by line-breaks, knotted by anacoluthon (to effect metaphor of locutions rather than images), yet ends up, like a magician's rope; in one piece--these haunt me with felt time: argons of alert animality pacing in thought.