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90s Slang You Should Know

minor premise

noun, Logic.
See under syllogism (def 1).
Origin of minor premise
First recorded in 1720-30


[sil-uh-jiz-uh m] /ˈsɪl əˌdʒɪz əm/
Logic. an argument the conclusion of which is supported by two premises, of which one (major premise) contains the term (major term) that is the predicate of the conclusion, and the other (minor premise) contains the term (minor term) that is the subject of the conclusion; common to both premises is a term (middle term) that is excluded from the conclusion. A typical form is “All A is C; all B is A; therefore all B is C.”.
deductive reasoning.
an extremely subtle, sophisticated, or deceptive argument.
1350-1400; < Latin syllogismus < Greek syllogismós, equivalent to syllog- (see syllogize) + -ismos -ism; replacing Middle English silogime < Old French < Latin, as above Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for minor premise
Historical Examples
  • minor premise: Socialism provides for the happiness of every human being.

    My Friends at Brook Farm John Van Der Zee Sears
  • The conclusion was right, but the minor premise was disputable.

  • Such a conclusion would indeed be binding, but at the same time quite worthless, for it only repeats the minor premise.

  • (b) When the minor premise is affirmative the conclusion must be particular.

    Logic Carveth Read
  • It becomes incumbent on the advocate of laissez-faire to "prove his minor premise."

  • In Camestres, however, the minor premise is negative; and, as this is impossible in Fig.

    Logic Carveth Read
  • Avoid the use of the "major premise, minor premise, argument, and logical conclusion."

    Certain Success Norval A. Hawkins
  • The minor premise is an hypothesis that the preparation contains X.

    Logic Carveth Read
  • In the next place, the minor premise of this argument is assumed.

    Arrows of Freethought George W. Foote
  • If for our minor premise we affirm that here is a normal man, we do so on the ground of observation.

    What and Where is God? Richard La Rue Swain
British Dictionary definitions for minor premise

minor premise

(logic) the premise of a syllogism containing the subject of its conclusion


a deductive inference consisting of two premises and a conclusion, all of which are categorial propositions. The subject of the conclusion is the minor term and its predicate the major term; the middle term occurs in both premises but not the conclusion. There are 256 such arguments but only 24 are valid. Some men are mortal; some men are angelic; so some mortals are angelic is invalid, while some temples are in ruins; all ruins are fascinating; so some temples are fascinating is valid. Here fascinating, in ruins, and temples are respectively major, middle, and minor terms
a deductive inference of certain other forms with two premises, such as the hypothetical syllogism,if P then Q; if Q then R; so if P then R
a piece of deductive reasoning from the general to the particular
a subtle or deceptive piece of reasoning
Word Origin
C14: via Latin from Greek sullogismos, from sullogizesthai to reckon together, from sul-syn- + logizesthai to calculate, from logos a discourse
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 minor premise



late 14c., from Old French silogisme "a syllogism," from Latin syllogismus, from Greek syllogismos "a syllogism," originally "inference, conclusion, computation, calculation," from syllogizesthai "bring together, premise, conclude," literally "think together," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + logizesthai "to reason, count," from logos "a reckoning, reason" (see logos).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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