(redirected from Socratic elenchi)


n. pl. e·len·chi (-kī)
A logical refutation, especially one that disproves a proposition by proving the direct contrary of its conclusion.

[Latin, from Greek elenkhos, refutation, from elenkhein, to bring disgrace to, accuse, cross-examine, refute; probably akin to Hittite linkzi, he swears (as an oath), and Old High German -lingan in antlingan, to answer (ant-, off, away, reversing).]
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.


n, pl -chi (-kaɪ)
1. (Logic) refutation of an argument by proving the contrary of its conclusion, esp syllogistically
2. (Logic) Socratic elenchus the drawing out of the consequences of a position in order to show them to be contrary to some accepted position
[C17: from Latin, from Greek elenkhos refutation, from elenkhein to put to shame, refute]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ɪˈlɛŋ kəs)

n., pl. -chi (-kī, -kē).
a logical refutation.
[1655–65; < Latin < Greek élenchos refutation]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


a syllogistic argument that refutes a proposition by proving the direct opposite of its conclusion. — elenchic, elenctic, adj.
See also: Logic
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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