modus ponens

[ moh-duhs poh-nenz ]
/ ˈmoʊ dəs ˈpoʊ nɛnz /

noun, plural mo·dus po·nen·tes [moh-duhs poh-nen-teez]. /ˈmoʊ dəs poʊˈnɛn tiz/. Logic.

the reasoning that, when a conditional statement is accepted as true, as “If X is red, then Y is blue,” it can be inferred when the antecedent is known to be true, as “X is red,” that its consequent, “Y is blue,” is affirmed.
an argument based on the reasoning of modus ponens: A simple modus ponens might begin with “If Joe sneezes, Tom laughs.”



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Origin of modus ponens

First recorded in 1835–40; New Latin: literally “affirming mode” Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for modus ponens

modus ponens
/ Latin (ˈməʊdəs ˈpəʊˌnɛnz) /


logic the principle that whenever a conditional statement and its antecedent are given to be true its consequent may be validly inferred, as in if it's Tuesday this must be Belgium and it's Tuesday so this must be Belgium

Word Origin for modus ponens

literally: mood that affirms
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