Figure Name epexegesis
Source Silva Rhetoricae (http://humanities.byu.edu/rhetoric/Silva.htm); Peacham 1593; Bullinger (1898) ("epexegesis; or, fuller explaining")
Earliest Source None
Synonyms fuller explaining, exegesis, ecphrasis, eplchrema
Etymology from Gk. epi, "upon," ex "out" and heegeisthai, "to lead" or "guide"
Type Chroma
Linguistic Domain Semantic

1. When one interprets what one has just said. A kind of redefinition or self-interpretation (often signaled by constructions such as "that is to say..."). (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. Epexegesis, is an added interpretation: that is, when the Orator doth interprete a word or sentence going before by another word or sentence comming after in this manner. (Peacham)

3. A Repetition for the purpose of explaining more fully... [see Etymology] The figure is so called because the repetition is for purposes of explanation... This figure Epexegesis may be divided into three parts: (1) where what is added is a working out and developing what has been previously said (Exergasia); (2) where what has been said is dwelt upon to deepen the impression (Epimone); and (3) where what is added is by way of interpretation (Hermeneia). (Bullinger, 424-425)


1. I'm afraid we've run up against the bamboo curtain—that is to say, an economic and political barrier in the East as real as the iron curtain has been in the West. (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. “When shall be opened the rightuous judgement of God, which will reward everie man according to his deeds.” Rom That is to say, praise, honour, and immortalitie to them which continue in well doing, and seeke immortalitie: but unto themthat are rebels, and do not obey the truth, but follow unrighteousnesse, shall come indignation, wrath, tribulation, & c. “I know that in me” Rom., that is to say, in my flesh dwelleth no good thing. (Peacham)

Kind Of Repetition
Part Of
Related Figures correctio, restrictio, metabasis, Figures of Amplification
Confidence Unconfident
Last Editor Ioanna Malton
Confidence Unconfident
Editorial Notes
Reviewed No