noun, plural par·a·lip·ses [par-uh-lip-seez] /ˌpær əˈlɪp siz/. Rhetoric.
  1. the suggestion, by deliberately concise treatment of a topic, that much of significance is being omitted, as in “not to mention other faults.”

Origin of paralipsis

1580–90; < Late Latin paralīpsis < Greek paráleipsis an omitting, equivalent to paraleíp(ein) to leave on one side (para- para-1 + leípein to leave) + -sis -sis
Also called preterition. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for paralipsis


paraleipsis (ˌpærəˈlaɪpsɪs)

noun plural -ses (-siːz)
  1. a rhetorical device in which an idea is emphasized by the pretence that it is too obvious to discuss, as in there are many drawbacks to your plan, not to mention the cost

Word Origin for paralipsis

C16: via Late Latin from Greek: neglect, from paraleipein to leave aside, from para- 1 + leipein to leave
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 paralipsis

1580s, from Greek paraleipsis "passing by omission," from paraleipein "to leave on one side, pass over, leave untold," from para- "beside" (see para- (1)) + leipein "to leave" (see relinquish).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper