series of dots that indicate omission

Ellipsis is a term of punctuation marks with 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.

An ellipsis

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".

In mathematics, different symbols for ellipsis are used to a similar effect. These include the horizontal ellipsis symbols and , along with vertical ellipsis symbols such as and .[1][2]



  1. "Compendium of Mathematical Symbols". Math Vault. 2020-03-01. Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  2. "Dots (LaTeX2e unofficial reference manual (July 2018))". joshua.smcvt.edu. Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  • 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