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[en-thuh-meem] /ˈɛn θəˌmim/
noun, Logic.
a syllogism or other argument in which a premise or the conclusion is unexpressed.
Origin of enthymeme
1580-90; < Latin enthȳmēma < Greek enthȳ́mēma thought, argument, equivalent to enthȳmē-, variant stem of enthȳmeîsthai to ponder (en- en-2 + -thȳmeîsthai verbal derivative of thȳmós spirit, thought) + -ma noun suffix of result
Related forms
[en-thuh-mee-mat-ik] /ˌɛn θə miˈmæt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for enthymeme
Historical Examples
  • “Socrates will die because all men are mortal” is an enthymeme.

    English: Composition and Literature

    W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
  • There is a certain variety in the use of the word enthymeme among logicians.

  • Who ever reasoned better for having been taught the difference between a syllogism and an enthymeme?

    Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay George Otto Trevelyan
  • The enthymeme is a syllogism from Probabilities or Signs;77 the two being not exactly the same.

    Aristotle George Grote
  • But if the evidence be deductive, it will probably consist of an enthymeme, or of several enthymemes one depending on another.

    Logic Carveth Read
  • It is a common way of hiding a weak point to cover it in the suppressed premise of an enthymeme.

    English: Composition and Literature

    W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
  • In an enthymeme, great care 132 should be taken with the suppressed premise.

    English: Composition and Literature

    W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
  • Aristotle used enthymeme in the wider sense of an elliptically expressed argument.

  • One form of enthymeme is so common in modern rhetoric as to deserve a distinctive name.

  • In the bald, simple forms here set down, the syllogism and enthymeme are hardly suited to delivery in speeches.

    Public Speaking Clarence Stratton
British Dictionary definitions for enthymeme


noun (logic)
an incomplete syllogism, in which one or more premises are unexpressed as their truth is considered to be self-evident
any argument some of whose premises are omitted as obvious
Derived Forms
enthymematic, enthymematical, adjective
Word Origin
C16: via Latin from Greek enthumēma, from enthumeisthai to infer (literally: to have in the mind), from en-² + thumos mind
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for enthymeme

"a syllogism in which one premise is omitted," 1580s, from Latin enthymema, from Greek enthymema "thought, argument," from enthymesthai "to think, consider," literally "to keep in mind, take to heart," from en "in" (see en- (2)) + thymos "mind" (see fume (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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