APOS'TROPHY, n. [Gr. from and a turning.]

1. In rhetoric, a diversion of speech; a digressive address; a changing the course of a speech, and addressing a person who is dead or absent, as if present; or a short address introduced into a discourse, directed to some person, different from the party to which the main discourse is directed; as when an advocate, in an argument to the jury, turns and addresses a few remarks to the court.

2. In grammar, the contraction of a word by the omission of a letter or letters, which omission is marked by a comma, as call'd for called. The comma used for this purpose may also be called an apostrophe.