Ellipsis (plural ellipses) is a mark or series of marks that usually indicate an intentional omission of a word or words in a text. At the end of a sentence, it indicates a trailing off into silence or an unfinished thought.
It can also refer to a pause in speech or a missing sound.
The missing words or thoughts need to be supplied by the listener or reader and are thus often open to different interpretations.
In writing, we usually use three dots to indicate an omission. This can be used to leave out information not strictly necessary for the context.
Some style guides use the three dots inside square brackets to indicate that a piece of the original has been purposefully removed.
Three dots can also be used to indicate a meaningful pause:
Here the implication is that he drinks something else.
Finally, in writing ellipsis indicates a trailing off of thought or idea:
Depending on the context, the reader can imagine the missing words.
In speech, ellipsis refers to sounds or syllables missing from an utterance due to the way in which speech is formed.