What is zeugma? How is it used?

1 Answer
Mar 10, 2018

A zeugma is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase joins together two distinct parts of a sentence, providing two interpretations from one word.


The most common definition of zeugma is a word that is used once but works in two different ways. This can be signified from the Greek origin of the word, zeûgma , which means “a yoking together.”

For example:
In the sentence: “She tossed her hair back and the salad.” The word “ tossed” in this example has two functions in the sentence. It is a verb in both cases but refers to very different actions.

Other Examples:
"On his fishing trip, he caught three trout and a cold."
"wage war and peace"