Meaning of zeugma in English:


Pronunciation /ˈzjuːɡmə/

Translate zeugma into Spanish


  • A figure of speech in which a word applies to two others in different senses (e.g. John and his driving licence expired last week).

    Compare with syllepsis

    ‘He knew what a zeugma is, and had strong, informed views on the semicolon.’
    • ‘If they're both just examples of zeugma, why is that?’
    • ‘We demonstrate how it contributes to the creation of zeugma and the non-availability of crossed readings.’


Late Middle English via Latin from Greek, from zeugnunai ‘to yoke’; related to zugon ‘yoke’.