exception that proves the rule

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

It is derived from the medieval Latin legal principle: exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis (the exception confirms the rule in the cases not excepted).

Examples
  • "Entry is free on Sundays."
    - This implies that entry is not free on the other six days of the week.
  • "Parking prohibited on Sundays."
    - This implies that parking is not prohibited on the other six days of the week.

Noun[edit]

exception that proves the rule

  1. A form of argument in which the existence of a counterexample to a rule is used to demonstrate the fact that a rule exists.
  2. (idiomatic) The rare occurrence of a counterexample to a rule, used to underscore that the rule exists

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