[ sil-uh-jiz-uhm ]
/ ˈsɪl əˌdʒɪz əm /


Logic. an argument the conclusion of which is supported by two premises, of which one (major premise ) contains the term (major term ) that is the predicate of the conclusion, and the other (minor premise ) contains the term (minor term ) that is the subject of the conclusion; common to both premises is a term (middle term ) that is excluded from the conclusion. A typical form is “All A is C; all B is A; therefore all B is C.”
deductive reasoning.
an extremely subtle, sophisticated, or deceptive argument.



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Origin of syllogism

1350–1400; <Latin syllogismus<Greek syllogismós, equivalent to syllog- (see syllogize) + -ismos-ism; replacing Middle English silogime<Old French <Latin, as above Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for syllogism

British Dictionary definitions for syllogism

/ (ˈsɪləˌdʒɪzəm) /


a deductive inference consisting of two premises and a conclusion, all of which are categorial propositions. The subject of the conclusion is the minor term and its predicate the major term; the middle term occurs in both premises but not the conclusion. There are 256 such arguments but only 24 are valid. Some men are mortal; some men are angelic; so some mortals are angelic is invalid, while some temples are in ruins; all ruins are fascinating; so some temples are fascinating is valid. Here fascinating, in ruins, and temples are respectively major, middle, and minor terms
a deductive inference of certain other forms with two premises, such as the hypothetical syllogism, if P then Q; if Q then R; so if P then R
a piece of deductive reasoning from the general to the particular
a subtle or deceptive piece of reasoning

Word Origin for syllogism

C14: via Latin from Greek sullogismos, from sullogizesthai to reckon together, from sul- syn- + logizesthai to calculate, from logos a discourse
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