series of dots that indicate omission
An ellipsis

An ellipsis is a type of punctuation mark. In writing, it is a row of three points (...). Its name comes from the ancient Greek word ἔλλειψις (omission/falling short). Notice that the three dots are not spaced as full points: they are a separate special typographic sign.

Depending on context and place in a sentence, ellipses can indicate an unfinished thought, a leading statement, a slight pause, a mysterious or echoing voice, or a nervous or awkward silence. An ellipsis can be used to trail off into silence—for example: But I thought he was...

  • So much more could be said...

When text is quoted from a book or a newspaper, it stands for words that have been cut out to save space in a page. For example:

  • "...one day all Americans will live peacefully throughout the world...they will be at peace with all other world inhabitants..."

When speaking, it can be referred to as "dot-dot-dot".

Related pagesEdit


  • Bringhurst, Robert 2002. The elements of typographic style (version 2.5), pp 82–83. Vancouver: Hartley & Marks Publishers. ISBN 0-88179-133-4
  • Morris, William 1980. The Houghton Mifflin Canadian dictionary of the English language, page 424. Markham, Ontario: Houghton Mifflin Canada. ISBN 0-395-29654-4