[uh-pawr-ee-uh, uh-pohr-]
noun, plural a·po·ri·as, a·po·ri·ae [uh-pawr-ee-ee, uh-pohr-] /əˈpɔr iˌi, əˈpoʊr-/.
  1. Rhetoric. the expression of a simulated or real doubt, as about where to begin or what to do or say.
  2. Logic, Philosophy. a difficulty encountered in establishing the theoretical truth of a proposition, created by the presence of evidence both for and against it.

Origin of aporia

1580–90; < Late Latin < Greek: state of being at a loss, equivalent to ápor(os) impassable (see a-6, pore2) + -ia -ia
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of aporiae

British Dictionary definitions for aporiae


  1. rhetoric a doubt, real or professed, about what to do or say
  2. philosophy puzzlement occasioned by the raising of philosophical objections without any proffered solutions, esp in the works of Socrates
Derived Formsaporetic (ˌæpəˈrɛtɪk), adjective

Word Origin for aporia

C16: from Greek, literally: a state of being at a loss
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

Word Origin and History for aporiae



1580s, from Latin, from Greek aporia, noun of state from aporos (see aporetic).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper