From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



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.


Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]



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 (2016 July 16 (last accessed)) 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