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Entertainment / Literature / Ellipsis: (plural, ellipses) (1) In its oldest sense as a rhetorical device, ellipsis refers to the artful omission of a word implied by a previous clause. For instance, an author might write, 'The American soldiers killed eight civilians, and the French eight.' The writer of the sentence has left out the word soldiers after French, and the word civilians after eight. However, both words are implied by the previous clause, so a reader has no trouble following the author's thought. See schemes. An ellipsis is similar to an eclipsis, but differs in that an eclipsis has a word or words missing that may not be implied by a previous clause. (2) In its more modern sense, ellipsis refers to a punctuation mark indicated by three periods to indicate material missing from a quotation . . . Like so. This mark is common in MLA format for indicating partial quotations.
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