Definition - When a single noun or verb governs multiple parts of a sentence.
Note: If the meaning of the governing word must change to agree with the different parts of the sentence, it is a type of zeugma called syllepsis.

Example -
He arrived in a taxi and in a huff
(The verb arrived governs both in a taxi and in a huff)

Etymology -
In Greek the word literally means "a yoking."

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation is from 1586:
"Zeugma, when one or more clauses are concluded vnder one verbe, as to say,
His loosnesse ouercame all shame; his boldnesse, feare; his madnesse, reason."
(A. Day Engl. Secretorie ii. (1595) 82)


1. Here's an amusing example: The absent-minded professor took his leave and my umbrella.
(John Burke, Worthing, Sussex, UK)

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