litotes


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li·to·tes

 (lī′tə-tēz′, lĭt′ə-, lī-tō′tēz)
n. pl. litotes
A figure of speech consisting of an understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by negating its opposite, as in This is no small problem.

[Greek lītotēs, from lītos, plain; see lei- in Indo-European roots.]

litotes

(ˈlaɪtəʊˌtiːz)
n, pl -tes
(Rhetoric) understatement for rhetorical effect, esp when achieved by using negation with a term in place of using an antonym of that term, as in "She was not a little upset" for "She was extremely upset".
[C17: from Greek, from litos small]

li•to•tes

(ˈlaɪ təˌtiz, ˈlɪt ə-, laɪˈtoʊ tiz)

n., pl. -tes.
understatement, esp. that in which an affirmative is expressed by the negative of its contrary, as in “not bad at all.” Compare hyperbole.
[1650–60; < New Latin < Greek lītótēs orig., plainness, simplicity, derivative of lītós plain, meager]

litotes

- From Greek litos, "simple, single," it refers to an ironical understatement (e.g. no small amount) or two negatives used to make a positive (e.g. it was not unsuccessful); it is pronounced lie-TOH-teez, LEYED-uh-teez, LID-uh-teez, or leye-TOHD-eez.
See also related terms for positive.

litotes

an understatement, especially one in which an affirmative is expressed by the negative of the contrary, as in “it’s not unpleasant.”
See also: Rhetoric and Rhetorical Devices

litotes

1. Deliberate understatement or negation of the contrary in order to achieve an effect, such as in “not a little tired” instead of “very tired.”
2. Assertion of a positive by denying its negative, often in the form of a deliberate understatement for effect.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.litotes - understatement for rhetorical effect (especially when expressing an affirmative by negating its contrary); "saying `I was not a little upset' when you mean `I was very upset' is an example of litotes"
understatement - a statement that is restrained in ironic contrast to what might have been said
rhetorical device - a use of language that creates a literary effect (but often without regard for literal significance)
Translations
References in periodicals archive ?
The religious rhetoric is paired, yet again as is the case in Fallet's novel, with wishing ill upon the concierge--in this instance via litotes presented by the narrative agent: "Je ne veux aucun mal aux concierges, comme je ne veux aucun mal a la scarlatine, a l'impot ou tout simplement la mort" (35).
This negation of a negation is found often in Wordsworth, but here it seems in particular to draw upon the etymological link of litotes to "simple" and its ethical link to humility.
Using words like epizeuxis, chiasmus and litotes, Farnsworth demonstrates in detail what can be done with major rhetorical figures (speech patterns), looks at the best of what has been done with them in English, presents the occasions for their use in systematic fashion, and offers explanatory comments.
Figuras de pensamiento: bajo esta rubrica se agrupan las figuras que juegan con los conceptos representados por palabras, pero tambien operaciones mas complejas y macroestructurales, basadas en relaciones entre ideas y en otras operaciones cognitivas (paradoja, hiperbole, litotes, eufemismo, etc.
Amici" describes his friends through an initial series of litotes, structured in a loose anaphoric pattern: "Non sono vagabondi o abbaialuna, [.
After a series of counterbalanced assertions and negations, using litotes to mix affirmation and ironic understatement--"I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him" (76), "I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke" (102), "It is not meet you know how Caesar lov'd you" (143)--he exploits the full impact of the dramatic disclosure of the body.
It would be a prime example of litotes to state that the Northern Ireland manufacturing sector is under exceedingly mounting pressure.
But the narrative voice, with ironical litotes, has already described Mrs.
LECTURING in law is not the most lucrative occupation (would that constitute an example of litotes, I wonder) but one small perquisite, as yet still untaxed, is having a very interesting mix of colleagues.
Tibullus describes the condition of the rusticus with a form of litotes (male sobrius), (7) and we realize quickly that his drunkenness is ugly as Tibullus moves from the journey home (51-2) to the assault.
Embora a litotes negue a sua irrelevancia, a concessiva seguinte (etiam si), corroborada pelo adverbio aliquando, tem o efeito de anular o tom peremptorio inicial; o verbo obumbrentur confirma a sugestao contida em obscura, ao coloca-los na 'sombra' dos verdadeiros protagonistas, ou seja nos bastidores da accao.
Euphemism: A combination of litotes and hyperbole used at the same time to simplify and exemplify meaning, and