Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. In a shape reminding of an ellipse; oval.
  • adj. Of, or showing ellipsis; having a word or words omitted.
  • adj. Concise, condensed.
  • adj. Alternative form of elliptic.
  • adj. Being flat and in the shape of a twice-symmetrical ellipse; oval.
  • n. An elliptical galaxy
  • n. An elliptical trainer

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. characterized by extreme economy of expression or omission of superfluous elements
  • adj. rounded like an egg

Etymologies

From elliptic + -al. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • What resulted was system of planets orbiting in elliptical, not circular, orbits described by three laws.

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  • The signals come from 2 satellites that are picked up by one smaller 33.5 by 26.5 in elliptical dish.

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  • There are other kinds of constructions in which the choice of “me” and “I” in short elliptical phrases may depend onwhether a subject or an object is implied.

    The Grammarphobia Blog » Blog Archive » Me too? I too?

  • The predictable love triangle that develops, and the equally predictable tragedy that results, are related almost entirely in short, elliptical scenes that strip down the basic story to its most essential details and moments.

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  • He speaks in short, elliptical snatches and views life with the detached outlook of an undertaker.

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  • Some eighty out of every one hundred galaxies are classified as elliptical galaxies.

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  • Two neutron stars circle each other closely in elliptical orbits.

    The Nobel Prize in Physics 1993

  • The two men conversed in short elliptical sentences, using many technical terms.

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  • I was sweating away my own business on that horrid torture device called the elliptical, which is supposed to simulate running but is really just another giant gerbil toy that contorts my old-before-their-time hips in unnatural ways, when the guy next to me asks me what I think about VP candidate Sarah Palin.

    Yo, Yenta!

  • The story is told entirely through Uram’s voiceover narration, in elliptical prose with poetic overtones.

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  • The billiard sharp who any one catches,
    His doom's extremely hard--
    He's made to dwell--
    In a dungeon cell
    On a spot that's always barred.
    And there he plays extravagant matches
    In fitless finger-stalls
    On a cloth untrue
    With a twisted cue
    And elliptical billiard balls!

    -- The Mikado

    August 21, 2008