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From Ancient Greek ἔλεγχος (élenkhos, refutation, scrutiny, control). Doublet of elench.



elenchus (plural elenchi)

  1. (rhetoric) A technique of argument associated with Socrates wherein the arguer asks the interlocutor to agree with a series of premises and conclusions, ending with the arguer's intended point.
    • 1991, Thomas c. Brickhouse; Nicholas D. Smith, “Socrates’ Elenctic Mission”, in Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, volume IX, Oxford University Press, →ISBN, pages 131–132:
      The elenchus begins when an interlocutor makes some moral claim that Socrates wishes to examine. The argument then proceeds from premisses that express certain of the interlocutor’s other beliefs to a conclusion that contradicts the original moral claim under scrutiny.


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From Ancient Greek ἔλεγχος (élenkhos, refutation, scrutiny), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁lengʰ- (to accuse, to scold).



elenchus m (genitive elenchī); second declension

  1. costly trinket (especially an earring)
  2. refutation
  3. (Late Latin, Medieval Latin) list
    • Elenchus tamen Sanctorum necnon Beatorum in MartyrologioThe list however of Saints and Blesseds in the Martyrology


Second-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative elenchus elenchī
Genitive elenchī elenchōrum
Dative elenchō elenchīs
Accusative elenchum elenchōs
Ablative elenchō elenchīs
Vocative elenche elenchī


  • Catalan: elenc
  • Italian: elenco
  • Portuguese: elenco
  • Romanian: elencos, elenchus
  • Spanish: elenco


  • elenchus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • elenchus”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • elenchus in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • elenchus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • elenchus”, in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • elenchus in Ramminger, Johann (accessed 16 July 2016) Neulateinische Wortliste: Ein Wörterbuch des Lateinischen von Petrarca bis 1700[1], pre-publication website, 2005-2016
  • elenchus”, in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin