reductio ad absurdum

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Related to Reductio ad absurdam: Logical fallacies

re·duc·ti·o ad ab·sur·dum

 (rĭ-dŭk′tē-ō ăd əb-sûr′dəm, -zûr′-, -shē-ō)
n. pl. re·duc·ti·o·nes ad absurdum (-ō′nēz, -nās)
Disproof of a proposition by showing that it leads to absurd or untenable conclusions.

[Medieval Latin reductiō ad absurdum : Latin reductiō, a bringing back, reduction + Latin ad, to + Latin absurdum, absurdity, from neuter of absurdus, absurd.]

reductio ad absurdum

(rɪˈdʌktɪəʊ æd æbˈsɜːdəm)
n
1. (Logic) a method of disproving a proposition by showing that its inevitable consequences would be absurd
2. (Logic) a method of indirectly proving a proposition by assuming its negation to be true and showing that this leads to an absurdity
3. application of a principle or proposed principle to an instance in which it is absurd
[Latin, literally: reduction to the absurd]

re•duc•ti•o ad ab•sur•dum

(rɪˈdʌk tiˌoʊ ˈæd æbˈsɜr dəm, -ˈzɜr-, -ʃiˌoʊ)
n.
a reduction to an absurdity; the refutation of a proposition by demonstrating that its logical conclusion is absurd.
[1735–45; < Latin]

reductio ad absurdum

A Latin phrase meaning reduction to absurdity, used to mean carrying an argument to the point at which it becomes absurd.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.reductio ad absurdum - (reduction to the absurd) a disproof by showing that the consequences of the proposition are absurd; or a proof of a proposition by showing that its negation leads to a contradiction
disproof, falsification, refutation - any evidence that helps to establish the falsity of something
References in periodicals archive ?
There is a wonderful irony in Professor Graham's use of Darwinian theory to attempt to illuminate Austen's novels, for he unwittingly provides a reductio ad absurdam of Darwinism itself.
How strong is the argument, a reductio ad absurdam, that, if we are not free, then laws and prohibitions make no sense?
You, back there by the nachos: you claim I'm indulging in reductio ad absurdam, that a mother's job is "priceless"?