ellipsis

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ellipsis

An ellipsis is a series of three consecutive periods known as ellipsis points ( . . . ) used to indicate where words have been omitted from quoted text, or (informally) to represent a pause, hesitation, or trailing-off in thought or speech.
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ellipsis

A three-dot symbol used to show an incomplete statement. Ellipses are used in on-screen menus to convey that there is more to come.


Ellipses Are Used in Menus
The ellipsis after Picture Paths in this menu indicates that a dialog box will be displayed if selected.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ellipsis

 

the omission in speech or text of an implied linguistic unit. The dropped unit may be a sound or sound combination; usually this occurs in colloquial speech, for example, kada for kogda (“when”) or mozhbyt’ for mozhet byt’ (“maybe”).

A word or word combination may be omitted if it is clear from the context, such as U ottsa byl bol’shoi pis’mennyi stol, a u syna malen’kii (“The father had a large desk, and his son a small one”), or if it constitutes a familiar expression, such as Ty v liubom sluchae vyidesh’ sukhim (iz vody) (“You will manage to come out dry [from the water] in any case”).

The dropped unit may be suggested by the meaning or grammatical form of other words: Ty na rabotu (idesh’)? (“Are you [going] to work?”); (Ia) sizhu za reshetkoi v temnitse syroi . . . (“[I] am sitting behind the bars of a dank dungeon . . . .”—Pushkin). The dropped unit may be clear from the situation: Mne chernyi (kofe, khleb . . .) (“I’ll take black [coffee, bread . . .]”).

The ellipsis of a syntactic unit that has a double meaning may be strikingly expressive and is used as a figure of speech: Ia za svechku, svechka—vpechku (“I [grabbed for] the candle, but the candle [jumped] into the stove”—K. Chukovskii).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.