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From Late Latin erotesis, from Ancient Greek ἐρώτησις (erṓtēsis), from ἐρωτάω (erōtáō, I question).


  • IPA(key): /ɛɹəˈtiːsɪs/


erotesis (plural eroteses)

  1. (rhetoric) A figure of speech whereby a question is asked in confident expectation of a negative answer.
    • 1759, Laurence Sterne, The Life & Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, Penguin 2003, p. 50:
      he would sometimes break off in a sudden and spirited EPIPHONEMA, or rather EROTESIS, [...] and demand it categorically of his antagonist, Whether he would take it upon him to say, had he ever remember'd,-----whether he had ever read,---or even whether he had ever heard tell of a man, call'd Tristram, performing any thing great or worth recording?

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