Figure Name brachylogia
Source Silva Rhetoricae (; Quintilian 8.3.83; Putt. (1589) 222 ("brachiologa," "the cutted comma"); Day 1599 92 ("brachiologa"); Garrett Epp (1994) ("brevitas," "brachylogia"); Vinsauf (1967) ("brevitas"); De Mille (1882) ("conciseness," "brevity"); Hill (1883) ("brevity"); Waddy (1889)("conciseness," "brevity"); Vickers (1989) ("brachylogia (or articulus)")
Earliest Source None
Synonyms brachiologia, brachiologa, articulus, the cutted comma, brevitas, brevity, conciseness
Etymology from Gk. brachy, "short" and logia, "speech"
Type Scheme
Linguistic Domain Syntactic

1. The absence of conjunctions between single words. Compare asyndeton. The effect of brachylogia is a broken, hurried delivery. (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. Expressing an idea with a minimum of words. (Garrett Epp)

3. There are other figures to adorn the meaning of words. All of these I include in the following brief treatment: when meaning is adorned, this is standard procedure. ... ((18) brevitas) I compress the entire subject into a few words - those which are essential to it and no others. (Vinsauf)

Conciseness means the employment of no more words than are absolutely necessary. (De Mille)

5. 4. Brevity.
Prolixity is the bane of effective narrative. Novels in two or three thick volumes, recounting the insipid adventures of some common-place personage, are the most tedious of literary creations. Histories which spin out of the thread of events undue length, though often praised and quoted, are selom consecutively read. The memory can retain only a limited number of details, and narratives constructed without reference to the natural limits of this faculty, are almost sure to pay the penalty of dullness. Vivacity, also, as in description, is secured by confiding the narrative to what is essential. (Hill)

6. Conciseness, or brevity of expression, consists in using the smallest number of words necessary for the complete expression of a thought - it is fullness in little compass. (Waddy)

7. Brachylogia (or articulus), the absence of connecting particles between single words, which are thus separated only by commas. (Vickers 493)


1. Phillip! Rise! Eat! Leave! (Silva Rhetoricae)

1. Love, hate, jealousy, frenzy, fury drew him from pity —Angel Day (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. King Lear hath lost, he and his daughter ta'en.
Give me thy hand. Come on. (Lear 5.2 qtd. in Garrett Epp)

3. ((18) brevitas (conciseness)) Thus a man fought for mankind, but that man was God; a combatant then, now wielding a royal spectre, and, in time to come, judge. (Vinsauf)

4. "Content may dwell in all stations. To be low, but above contempt, may be high enough to be happy. But many of low degree may be higher than computer, and some cubits above the common commensuration; for in all states, virtue gives qualifications and allowances which make out defects. Rough diamonds are sometimes mistake for pebbles; and meanness may be right in accomplishments which riches in vain desire." - SIR THOMAS BROWNE.
In this passage we find no more words employed than are absolutely necessary. (De Mille)

6. Nothing is so fleeting as form; yet never does it quite deny itself. If I can be firm enough to-day to do right, and scorn eyes, I must have done so much right before as to defend me now. - Emerson (Waddy)

6. Speech is but broken light upon the depths of the unspoken.- George Eliot. (Waddy)

6. They make a solitude, and call it peace.- Tacitus. (Waddy)

7.Is perjur'd, murd'rous,bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust. . .
--Shakespeare, "Sonnet 129" (Vickers 493)

Kind Of Omission
Part Of
Related Figures asyndeton, figures of omission, conciseness
Confidence Unconfident
Last Editor Daniel Etigson
Confidence Unconfident
Editorial Notes
Reviewed No