reductio ad absurdum

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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

reductio ad absurdum

A Latin phrase meaning reduction to absurdity, used to mean carrying an argument to the point at which it becomes absurd.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
As I see it, the Kushner, Greenblatt, Friedman team may have found a way to create the reduction ad absurdum of Kissinger's maxim by creating the illusion of a deal to compensate for the absence of a deal.
After a brief restatement of PTPTI, we will proceed to analyze the first argument: namely, that by performing a reduction ad absurdum on the time-preference principle we obtain the unacceptable result that man must never act or consume, or, which is the same, man must always prefer the future (other things equal).
Highlighting the reduction ad absurdum case of Nauru, he questions why an eight-square-mile Pacific atoll with a population of 11,000 would focus a quarter of its legislation passed in the last decade on money laundering when faced with so many more pressing needs.