litotes

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See also: Litotes and lítotes

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Renaissance Latin litotes, from Ancient Greek λιτότης (litótēs, literally plainness), from λιτός (litós, simple).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

Examples (figure of speech)
  • She's not the nicest person I know (she is mean)
  • He's not exactly a rocket scientist (he is stupid)
  • Organizing these records is no small task (it is time-consuming)
  • Not bad (good)

litotes (plural litotes)

  1. (rhetoric) An ironic figure of speech whereby something is stated by denying its opposite, particularly the negation of a negative quality to say something positive.
    Antonym: hyperbole
    Hypernyms: irony, understatement, meiosis
    • 1895, William Congreve, “Introduction”, in G. S. Street, editor, The Comedies of William Congreve[1], volume 1, Methuen and Co.:
      The delicacy which prompts a later generation to reject that name is by no means necessarily a result of stricter habits, is far more often due to the flatness which comes of untiring repetition and to the greater piquancy of litotes.

Translations[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


French[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

litotes f

  1. plural of litote

Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Noun[edit]

litotes m (definite singular litotesen, indefinite plural litoteser, definite plural litotesene)

  1. form removed with the spelling reform of 2005; superseded by litot

Norwegian Nynorsk[edit]

Noun[edit]

litotes m (definite singular litotesen, indefinite plural litotesar, definite plural litotesane)

  1. form removed with the spelling reform of 2005; superseded by litot

Polish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin litotes, from Ancient Greek λιτότης (litótēs), from λιτός (litós, simple).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

litotes m inan (indeclinable)

  1. (rhetoric) litotes
    Synonym: litota

Further reading[edit]

  • litotes in Wielki słownik języka polskiego, Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN
  • litotes in Polish dictionaries at PWN

Portuguese[edit]

Noun[edit]

litotes f (plural litotes)

  1. (rhetoric) litotes (an understatement employed for rhetoric effect)

Spanish[edit]

Noun[edit]

litotes f pl

  1. plural of litote