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reductio ad absurdum

[ ri-duhk-tee-oh -ad ab-sur-duhm, -zur-, -shee-oh ]
/ rɪˈdʌk tiˌoʊ ˈæd æbˈsɜr dəm, -ˈzɜr-, -ʃiˌoʊ /
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noun Logic.

a reduction to an absurdity; the refutation of a proposition by demonstrating the inevitably absurd conclusion to which it would logically lead.

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Origin of reductio ad absurdum

First recorded in 1735–45, reductio ad absurdum is from Latin reductiō ad absurdum
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for reductio ad absurdum

British Dictionary definitions for reductio ad absurdum

reductio ad absurdum
/ (rɪˈdʌktɪəʊ æd æbˈsɜːdəm) /

noun

a method of disproving a proposition by showing that its inevitable consequences would be absurd
a method of indirectly proving a proposition by assuming its negation to be true and showing that this leads to an absurdity
application of a principle or proposed principle to an instance in which it is absurd

Word Origin for reductio ad absurdum

Latin, literally: reduction to the absurd
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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