Definition of anaphora in English:


Pronunciation /əˈnaf(ə)rə/ /əˈnæf(ə)rə/


  • 1Grammar
    The use of a word referring to or replacing a word used earlier in a sentence, to avoid repetition, such as do in I like it and so do they.

    • ‘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.’


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



/əˈnaf(ə)rə/ /əˈnæf(ə)rə/