Meaning of anaphora in English:


Pronunciation /əˈnaf(ə)rə/

See synonyms for anaphora on


mass noun
  • 1Grammar
    The use of a word referring back to a word used earlier in a text or conversation, to avoid repetition, for example the pronouns he, she, it, and they and the verb do in I like it and so do they.

    Compare with cataphora

    ‘Binding is concerned with the type of anaphora found with pronouns and reflexives, but the notion is greatly extended.’
    • ‘Null complement anaphora refers to an elliptical construction in which a VP or IP complement of a verb is dropped.’
    • ‘In similar examples involving not coordination but anaphora (zero or overt), it's much easier to get away with this sort of denotation switching.’
    • ‘Not every theory of pronominal anaphora predicts this possibility.’
    • ‘Trying to make sense of this proposal leads to some interesting observations about grammaticality and anaphora.’
  • 2Rhetoric
    The repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses.

    ‘An analysis of this speech reveals that the student used varied repetition strategies, including anaphora, antithesis, chiasmus, and parallelism.’
    • ‘Many of the poems in Lateness use anaphora as a vehicle against time because it allows for sensual expressions of textures.’
    • ‘Through alliteration, anaphora, parallelism and slant-rhyme, Sleigh builds momentum into the eleven, rhythmic couplets and suggests a train's smooth travel.’
    • ‘The ultimate purpose of the poem is not to list the queen's virtues but to praise them; the exhortation in the opening ‘Praisd be’ is further emphasized by insistent anaphora and repeated trochees in the first seven lines.’
    • ‘This was a suite of six prose poems, mostly composed in an ironic and decorative biblical style replete with anaphora and the artificiality of thee's, thy's and thou's.’
  • 3Christian Church
    The part of the Eucharist which contains the consecration, anamnesis, and communion.

    ‘This is a far cry from Corbon's more simplistic description of the Eucharistic canon as prelude, liturgy of the word, anaphora, communion, and finale.’
    • ‘The aspect of anaphora is developed by John Zizioulas, ‘Ministry,’ in contrast to its baptismal withdrawal from the world.’
    • ‘The paradigm which the Eucharist expresses can be usefully described, I think, in terms of a threefold succession of ideas: ecclesia, anaphora, and diaspora.’
    • ‘I say ‘surrounding’ as well as ‘focused in’ because the anaphora is but the centerpiece of a series of actions which precede and follow the anaphora itself.’


Late 16th century anaphora (sense 1, via Latin from Greek, ‘repetition’, from ana- ‘back’ + pherein ‘to bear’; anaphora (sense 3) from late Greek.