See also: Litotes and lítotes

English edit

Etymology edit

Learned borrowing from Late Latin lītotēs, 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 (countable and uncountable, plural litotes)

  1. (rhetoric) A figure of speech whereby something is stated by denying its opposite, particularly the negation of a negative quality to say something positive.
    Synonym: meiosis
    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.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

See also edit

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit

French edit

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

litotes f

  1. plural of litote

Latin edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from Ancient Greek λιτότης (litótēs).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

lītotēs f (genitive lītotētos); third declension (Late Latin)

  1. (rhetoric) litotes (rhetorical understatement)

Declension edit

Third-declension noun (Greek-type, normal variant).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative lītotēs lītotētes
Genitive lītotētos lītotētum
Dative lītotētī lītotētibus
Accusative lītotēta lītotētas
Ablative lītotēte lītotētibus
Vocative lītotēs lītotētes

Descendants edit

  • English: litotes (learned)
  • French: litote (learned)
  • German: Litotes (learned)
  • Italian: litote (learned)
  • Polish: litotes (learned)

References edit

  • litotes in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Souter, Alexander (1949), “lītotēs”, in A Glossary of Later Latin to 600 A.D., 1st edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press, published 1957, page 234

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 form removed with the spelling reform of 2005; superseded by litot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. (pre-2005) alternative form of litot

Polish edit

Etymology edit

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

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /liˈtɔ.tɛs/
  • Rhymes: -ɔtɛs
  • Syllabification: li‧to‧tes

Noun edit

litotes m inan (indeclinable)

  1. (rhetoric) litotes
    Synonym: litota

Further reading edit

  • litotes in Polish dictionaries at PWN

Portuguese edit

Etymology edit

Learned borrowing from Late Latin lītotēs, from Ancient Greek λιτότης (litótēs).

Pronunciation edit

 

  • Hyphenation: li‧to‧tes

Noun edit

litotes f (invariable)

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

Spanish edit

Noun edit

litotes f pl

  1. plural of litote