THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION

ELEVENTH EDITION 1911

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APOSTROPHE (Gr. ἀποστροφή, turning away; the final e being sounded), the name given to an exclamatory rhetorical figure of speech, when a speaker or writer breaks off and addresses some one directly in the vocative. The same word (representing, through the French, the Greek ἀπόστροφος προσῳδία, the accent of elision) means also the sign (’) for the omission of a letter or letters, e.g. in “don’t.” In physiology, “apostrophe” is used more precisely in connexion with its literal meaning of “turning away,” e.g. for movement away from the light, in the case of the accumulation of chlorophyll-corpuscles on the cells of leaves.
Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected. They appear in the text like this, and the explanation will appear when the mouse pointer is moved over the marked passage. Sections in Greek will yield a transliteration when the pointer is moved over them, and words using diacritic characters in the Latin Extended Additional block, which may not display in some fonts or browsers, will display an unaccented version.

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