apophasis

[ uh-pof-uh-sis ]

noun
  1. Rhetoric. denial of one's intention to speak of a subject that is at the same time named or insinuated, as “I shall not mention Caesar's avarice, nor his cunning, nor his morality.”

  2. Theology. knowledge, understanding, or description of God through negative statements about qualities and characteristics that God does not possess, as "God is not confined by space or time.": See also negative theology.

Origin of apophasis

1
1650–60; <Late Latin <Greek: a denial, equivalent to apópha(nai) to say no, deny (apo-apo- + phánai to say) + -sis-sis

Other words from apophasis

  • ap·o·phat·ic [ap-uh-fat-ik], /ˌæp əˈfæt ɪk/, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

British Dictionary definitions for apophasis

apophasis

/ (əˈpɒfəsɪs) /


noun
  1. rhetoric the device of mentioning a subject by stating that it will not be mentioned: I shall not discuss his cowardice or his treachery

Origin of apophasis

1
C17: via Latin from Greek: denial, from apo- + phanai to say

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