February 14


Anadiplosis definition & Anadiplosis examples to power up your message!

By Harry Heijligers

February 14, 2017

anadiplosis, anadiplosis definition, anadiplosis examples, rhetoric, rhetorical devices, rhetorical devices list, rhetorical triangle

Have you ever heard of the anadiplosis? Probably not! But it is nevertheless a very handy tool for you as a project manager, to get more influence over your stakeholders. If you want to get more attention from your stakeholders for your message then read all about the anadiplosis definition below, as well as anadiplosis examples. Because, as you know, it is the project manager's main job to influence all of his stakeholders in the project. But ...

How do you get your message to stick in the heads of your stakeholders?


How do you get your stakeholders to remember your message and to do something with it? This is where the anadiplosis comes in handy.

The anadiplosis is one of the rhetorical devices used to get more influence over your stakeholders, by repeating your key message in a certain way. Please read on for the tips:

Anadiplosis definition:
An anadiplosis is the use of
repetition. Repetition is the Magic Bullet in all Advertisement.

When you want to demonstrate the relationship between certain things or events you can use the anadiplosis. Another usage is to stipulate the cause and effect between events. The most effective usage is, when it is used in a triple:

When this milestone is getting delayed, the project is getting delayed and when the project is getting delayed, we get a penalty from our customer!​

According to the anadiplosis definition, the key is to repeat words at the end of a clause, immediately at the start of the second clause. But why would you do that?

When something is repeated, a pattern is created and because we are programmed to recognise patterns, your listeners will pay attention. Repetition is a great way to emphasise important points.

Do you want to get attention?

Anadiplosis Rhetorical Devices Dividerline

Anadiplosis definition

You have already seen some bits and pieces of the anadiplosis definition. In this paragraph I want to give you some more background about the anadiplosis definition, because that will strengthen the way how you will apply the anadiplosis in your key messages.

Anadiplosis is one of the rhetorical devices used to emphasise important parts in your message. It is done by repeating the last word or words of the previous sentence. The word anadiplosis stems from the Greek and means doubling or repetition. By using repetition you create certain rhythm in your message. It can become a mesmerising cadence. The repeated words are emphasised with your tone of voice. The anadiplosis is often used to build up to a certain climax.

An anadiplosis example could be: “When I give, I give myself.” In this case the word "give" is repeated to emphasise the act of giving.

Another anadiplosis example is: ​“Our company has a record of extraordinary customer service, a customer service that every other company should be jealous of.” In this case the words "customer service" are repeated to emphasise how important customer service is and how good they are at it.

To really grasp the anadiplosis definition, I will give some sparkling examples of the usage of the anadiplosis below:

Anadiplosis examples

Anadiplosis examples in politics

Anadiplosis - Rhetorical Devices List - I have a dream

Maybe one of the most well-known and famous usages of anadiplosis is Martin Luther King in his “I have a dream” speech.

Why does nearly everybody on earth still remember the “I have a dream” speech?

Well, the usage of the words “I have a dream” as an anadiplosis, certainly helped! Every time he marked these words out during his speech the cheers from his audience became louder and louder!

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Another great example from the same period of time is from John F. Kennedy:

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Although this is officially an antimetabole, it is also an example of anadiplosis, while more or less the same words are repeated to create a rhetoric effect.​

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An example of Hillary Clinton:

"Let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights."

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A great example of anadiplosis where the keyword healthy is repeated four times, comes from Margaret Thatcher:

“Without a healthy economy, we can’t have a healthy society. And without a healthy society, the economy won’t stay healthy for long.”

Jaeger Sportswear:

"Only the brave deserve the fair and the fair deserve Jaeger."

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From an ad of DirectTV:

"When your cable company keeps you on hold, you get angry. When you get angry, you go blow off steam. When you go blow off steam, accidents happen. When accidents happen, you get an eye patch. When you get an eye patch, people think you're tough. When people think you're tough, people want to see how tough. And when people want to see how tough, you wake up in a roadside ditch. Don't wake up in a roadside ditch: Get rid of cable and upgrade to DIRECTV."

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Steve Jobs:

“And they garnered two percent market share. Two percent market share. iPod had 62 percent market share and the rest had 36.”

Anadiplosis examples in business

As you can see from the examples, the anadiplosis can be used in every context to emphasise your key message. So let's have a look at how you can use this kind of repetition in the best possible manner:


The official literary usage of anadiplosis as a rhetorical device is as described that the last word(s) of a sentence will be repeated at the beginning of the next sentence.

However in daily practice this is not strict necessary. The important factor is to repeat the words you want to emphasise a couple of times in your message. In NLP this is also called an anchor.

If you have one, two or three words which are representing your key message and you are able to repeat these a couple of times in your message, preferably every time with the same non-verbal cues, than your audience will get familiar with them. And the third or fourth time they get to hear it from you, they get an “Oh yeah” feeling. And that’s what you want.

In order for your audience to accept your key message, they need to feel acquainted with it. It is also possible to change the repeated words with synoniems in order to not bore your audience, but this is not preferred. This is not preferred while an anchor get's its power from being unique.

So, the best usage of the anadiplosis, is to repeat the exact same words a couple of times and deliver them each and every time in the exact same manner.


Anadiplosis Rhetorical Devices Dividerline

How to use the Anadiplosis for more influence?

5 step process for using the anadiplosis to gain influence

Anadiplosis - rhetorical devices steps

Step 1: Determine your goal

Ask yourself:

  • What do you want to say to your stakeholder?
  • What do you want him to fully take into consideration?

It could be something like:

"We really need to scale up fast, because otherwise we are missing deadlines."

Anadiplosis - rhetorical devices steps

Step 2: Define the main Keyword(s)

Determine which keyword (or maybe a phrase of two or three keywords) expresses your key message in the best possible manner.

For the above example the keyword could be: "loosing time", because you could use the keyword "loosing" also in the context of "loosing money".

Pro Tip:

While you're at it, you can take it a step further and develop a metaframe for you message using your keyword. The metaframe in this example could be: "Loosing time now is loosing money later".

Anadiplosis - rhetorical devices steps

Step 3: Define the message

While you have now the main keyword, your goal and maybe even your metaframe, you can start to develop the message.

In this example the message could be:

"At this time in the project, we are loosing momentum and loosing momentum means loosing time and not making deadlines. Not making deadlines means in the end that we will be loosing money on the contract. Because loosing time now is loosing money later."​

Anadiplosis - rhetorical devices steps

Step 4: Practice!

Now you have created the whole message it is important to practice the message, because you need to deliver the message in the exact same wording as you have developed it!

This is important, because otherwise the message will loose it's power!​

So, practice, practice, practice like a Broadway actor would do. When you feel comfortable with it, then it's ...

Anadiplosis - rhetorical devices steps

Step 5: Deliver the anadiplosis (aka Showtime!)

Now that you've done all your preparations, it is time to use the anadiplosis in real life. You've done all your practicing, so you can feel confident about what you are doing. Just get out there and rock and roll!

Anadiplosis Rhetorical Devices Dividerline

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of situations are best for using the anadiplosis and what type of situations you'd better not use it?

The power of the anadiplosis lies in the repetition of the words, creating a mesmerising cadence. This of course only works, when you get to deliver your message without being interrupted.

This means that when you are in a meeting with all kinds of strong discussions going on, it is probably not a good time to deliver an anadiplosis, because you might as well be interrupted half way your first sentence.

But, if you are giving a speech or a presentation, or if you know that you can speak freely without being interrupted, the repetition of your keywords will certainly resonate with your audience.

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What are the best conditions for an anadiplosis?

An anadiplosis is only effective when you have the full attention of your audience. Furthermore it is only effective when being delivered without interruption. So, the best conditions are when you are give a speech or presentation. Also because an anadiplosis needs to be prepared well and that's what you most of the time also do with a speech or presentation.

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Do the same techniques for using the anadiplosis in speaking also apply to using it in writing?

Partially yes, because the power lies in the words you use and not as much in the non-verbal way of delivering. So this means that you also use it with great effect in writing.

The only downside of using the anadiplosis in writing, is that you can not control the reader of not being interrupted while reading your message.


In this article you have learned the anadiplosis definition and you have seen some sparkling anadiplosis examples. Hopefully you also have seen how you can apply it in your daily practice. It is really an excellent and surprising way to get more attention of your stakeholders and to make your message stick. Be aware that you don't get interrupted while delivering it.

An anadiplosis is the use of repetition. Repetition is the Magic Bullet in all Advertisement.

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Be aware that you only use the anadiplosis, as well as any of the other rhetorical devices for that matter, when you already have established rapport with your stakeholders.

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Over to you

After you now know the Anadiplosis definition and ways to use them, please leave a comment below by telling us how you uses the anadiplosis in your communication arsenal.

Thank you already in advance for sharing your thoughts and insights! And if you've found this anadiplosis definition and examples useful: please share the good stuff!

Harry Heijligers

About the author

Harry Heijligers has more than 25 years of experience as a Project Manager and more than 17 years of experience as an NLP Trainer. He has a Dutch blog about NLP here: HarryHeijligers.com.
If you'd like to know about the Smart Leadership Hut, please check this: Smart Leadership Hut.

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