dormitive virtue

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

A calque translation of Latin, virtus dormitiva, coined by Molière in The Imaginary Invalid. In the play, he lampoons a group of physicians providing an explanation in macaronic Latin of the sleep-inducing properties of opium as stemming from its "virtus dormitiva".

Noun[edit]

dormitive virtue (plural dormitive virtues)

  1. (idiomatic, rhetoric, logic, linguistics) A type of tautology in which an item is being explained in terms of the item itself, only put in different (usually more abstract) words.

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