An Introduction to Synathroesmus

Synathroesmus (derives from an ancient greek word ‘synathroismos’ literally means “collection,” or “union”), is a rhetorical device that combines the feature of 'SynonymiaOpens in new window' and 'CongeriesOpens in new window', to form collective grouping of dissimilar words (usually adjective) and uses all the words to modify or describe a subject in one expression.

In synasthroemus, the end result usually takes the form of invectiveOpens in new window.

Notable Examples of Synathroesmus
  • “He's a proud, haughty, consequential, turned-up-nose peacock.”
  • — Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby

  • “He was a gasping, wheezing, clutching, covetous old man.”
  • — Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

  • “Of all the bete, clumsy, blundering, boggling, baboon-blooded stuff I ever saw on the human stage, that thing last night beat – as far as the story and acting went – and of all the affected, sapless, soulless, beginningless, endless, topless, bottomless, topsyturviest, tuneless, scrannelpipiest tongs and boniestdoggerel of sounds I ever endured the deadliness of, that eternity of nothing was the deadliest, as far as its sound went.”
  • — John Ruskin, on Richard Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Further Readings:
Silva Rhetoricae: Synathroesmus Opens in new window
Sister Miriam Joseph — Shakespeare's Use of the Arts of Language Synathroesmus Opens in new window