Rhetorical Devices: Anadiplosis

This post is part of a series on rhetoric and rhetorical devices. For other posts in the series, please click this link.

Device: Anadiplosis

Origin: From the Greek ἀναδίπλωσις (anathiplosis), meaning “doubling” or “folding”.

In plain English: Beginning a sentence or clause by repeating the last word or words of the previous sentence or clause.


  • Repetition of the words adds rhythm and cadence.
  • The repeated words are emphasized.
  • Anadiplosis often builds in intensity to a climax.


  • Anadiplosis can be used to demonstrate the relationship between things or events.
  • It is often used to show cause and effect.
  • Anadiplosis is particularly effective when used in a tricolon; i.e., first concept – first set of repeated words – second concept – second set of repeated words – third concept.
  • It is not necessary for the repeated words to be exactly beside each other; other words can be interjected provided that the elements of the anadiplosis are not too far apart.
  • Minor words in the anadiplosis can change; cf. “a slave; the slave” and “a gladiator; the gladiator” in the quote by Joaquin Phoenix below.


“Without a healthy economy, we can’t have a healthy society. And without a healthy society, the economy won’t stay healthy for long.”

— Margaret Thatcher, Conservative Party Address, 10 October 1980


“Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

— Yoda in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)


“The General who became a slave; the slave who became a gladiator; the gladiator who defied an Emperor. Striking story!”

— Joaquin Phoenix in Gladiator (2000)


“Tonight, we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger, and anger to resolution.”

— George W. Bush, Address to Congress, 20 September 2001


“And they garnered two percent market shareTwo percent market share. iPod had 62 percent market share and the rest had 36.”

— Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007 Keynote Address


Finally, here is a series of commercials from DIRECTV, each one an anadiplosis.


About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
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8 Responses to Rhetorical Devices: Anadiplosis

  1. Pingback: Rhetorical Precision and Clear Communications

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  4. Audrey Collins says:

    I searched for this title and discovered this. Great read.

  5. Pingback: Rhetorical Precision and Clear Communications « Facilitative Leadership & Facilitator Training

  6. markjowen says:

    Excellent post. I’ve learnt a lot. (And I love that commercial!)

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