This article or section may be written in a style that is too abstract to be readily understandable by general audiences. Please improve it by defining technical terminology, and by adding examples. (April 2013)

Asyndeton (UK: /æˈsɪndɪtən, ə-/, US: /əˈsɪndətɒn, ˌ-/;[1][2] from the Greek: ἀσύνδετον, "unconnected", sometimes called asyndetism) is a literary scheme in which one or several conjunctions are deliberately omitted from a series of related clauses.[3][4] Examples include veni, vidi, vici and its English translation "I came, I saw, I conquered". Its use can have the effect of speeding up the rhythm of a passage and making a single idea more memorable. Asyndeton may be contrasted with syndeton (syndetic coordination) and polysyndeton, which describe the use of one or multiple coordinating conjunctions, respectively.

More generally, in grammar, an asyndetic coordination is a type of coordination in which no coordinating conjunction is present between the conjuncts.[5]

Quickly, resolutely, he strode into the bank.

No coordinator is present here, but the conjoins are still coordinated.


Omission of conjunction "and"

Aristotle wrote in his Rhetoric that this device was more effective in spoken oratory than in written prose:

Several notable examples can be found in American political speeches: Aristotle also believed that asyndeton can be used effectively in endings of works, and he himself employs the device in the final passage of the Rhetoric:

Another frequently used example is Winston Churchill's address, "We shall fight on the beaches":

Omission of conjunction "or"

An asyndeton of "or" before a polysyndeton of "and":

See also


  1. ^ Jones, Daniel (2011). Roach, Peter; Setter, Jane; Esling, John (eds.). Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (18th ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-15255-6.
  2. ^ Wells, John C. (2008). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.). Longman. ISBN 978-1-4058-8118-0.
  3. ^ Corbett and Connors, 1999. p.51
  4. ^ Baldick, 2008. p. 27
  5. ^ "Asyndetic Coordination @ The Internet Grammar of English". UCL. 18 April 2018. Archived from the original on 2004-12-14.