n. pl. an·a·co·lu·thons or an·a·co·lu·tha (-thə)
An abrupt change within a sentence to a second construction inconsistent with the first, sometimes used for rhetorical effect; for example, I warned him that if he continues to drink, what will become of him?
[Late Latin, from Late Greek anakolouthon, inconsistency in logic, from Greek, neuter of anakolouthos, inconsistent : an-, not; see A-1 + akolouthos, following (a-, together; see sem-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + keleuthos, path).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.