apostrophe

apostrophe1
apostrophic /ap'euh strof"ik, -stroh"fik/, adj.
/euh pos"treuh fee/, n.
the sign ('), as used: to indicate the omission of one or more letters in a word, whether unpronounced, as in o'er for over, or pronounced, as in gov't for government; to indicate the possessive case, as in man's; or to indicate plurals of abbreviations and symbols, as in several M.D.'s, 3's.
[1580-90; < MF (with pron. later altered by confusion with APOSTROPHE2), r. earlier apostrophus < LL ( > MF) < Gk apóstrophos (prosoidía) eliding (mark), lit., (mark) of turning away, verbid of apostréphein to turn away, equiv. to apo- APO- + stréphein to turn; see STROPHE]
apostrophe2
apostrophic /ap'euh strof"ik, -stroh"fik/, adj.
/euh pos"treuh fee/, n. Rhet.
a digression in the form of an address to someone not present, or to a personified object or idea, as "O Death, where is thy sting?"
[1525-35; < LL < Gk apostrophé a turning away, equiv. to apostroph- (verbid of apostréphein; see APOSTROPHE1) + -e n. suffix]

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      a rhetorical device by which a speaker turns from the audience as a whole to address a single person or thing. For example, in William Shakespeare (Shakespeare, William)'s Julius Caesar, Mark Antony addresses the corpse of Caesar in the speech that begins:

O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!
Thou art the ruins of the noblest man
That ever lived in the tide of times.
Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood!

      Another example is in the first stanza of William Wordsworth (Wordsworth, William)'s poem “Ode to Duty”:

Stern Daughter of the Voice of God!
O Duty! if that name thou love
Who are a light to guide, a rod
To check the erring, and reprove;
Thou, who art victory and law
When empty terrors overawe;
From vain temptations dost set free;
And calm'st the weary strife of frail humanity!

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Apostrophe — ist eine Redefigur, welche am meisten in der Beredtsamkeit vorkommmt. Wenn der Redner, um seinem Ausdrucke mehr Lebendigkeit zu geben, plötzlich eine abwesende Person oder einen leblosen Gegenstand anredet, gleichsam als wenn jene gegenwärtig… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

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