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illustration Excursus



Part of speech: noun

Origin: Latin, early 19th century


A detailed discussion of a particular point in a book, usually in an appendix.


A digression in a written text.

Examples of Excursus in a sentence

"The footnotes in the third edition had a thorough excursus on the research developments since the first edition was published."

"The excursus in the appendix detailed the experiments and the results."

About Excursus

This word stems from the Latin “excurrere,” meaning “run out.”

Did you Know?

Even though an excursus is usually found in modern nonfiction, it used to have other purposes. In literature from centuries ago, an excursus might have nothing to do with the topics being discussed in the main work; rather, it was used to lighten the atmosphere in a tragic story. In the Middle Ages, it was a favored rhetorical device that allowed the narrator to comment or suspend the action for the audience to reflect on what was going on in the story.

illustration Excursus

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