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1. The act of passing by, disregarding, or omitting.
2. Law The failure of a testator to provide for a legal heir in his or her will.
3. Christianity The Calvinist doctrine that God neglected to designate those who would be damned, positively determining only the elect.

[Late Latin praeteritiō, praeteritiōn-, a passing over, from Latin praeteritus, past participle of praeterīre, to go by; see preterite.]
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.


1. the act of passing over or omitting
2. (Law) Roman law the failure of a testator to name one of his children in his will, thus invalidating it
3. (Theology) (in Calvinist theology) the doctrine that God passed over or left unpredestined those not elected to final salvation
[C17: from Late Latin praeteritiō a passing over]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.preterition - suggesting by deliberately concise treatment that much of significance is omitted
rhetorical device - a use of language that creates a literary effect (but often without regard for literal significance)
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
with a glaring preterition. He vowed, in effect, not even to mention
This is effectively a concise explanation of reprobation, as the Baptists affirm that though the first cause of human destiny is God, the proximate causes are whether God chooses to manifest his grace in election and salvation or his justice in preterition.
The solution she identifies in child survivors' works is their decision to prop memory with fiction while placing the issue of absent or blurred memory at the center of the autobiography, one resulting in the form of what Philippe Lejeune calls the "critical text" of autobiography (220), "comprising both personal memories and a critique of memory that comments on its own hesitations, incompletions, or errors" (Suleiman 187), in which the two basic pillars of child survivors' narrative construction become postponement-a basic principle of digression and suspension-and "preterition, the self-contradictory figure of approach and avoidance, affirmation and negation, amnesia and anamnesis," the simultaneous recognition and denial of painful reality (Suleiman 206).
"Preterition et ambiguite enonciative: les doubles sens de 'Lokis' de Prosper Merimee." Nineteenth-Century French Studies 26.1-2 (1997-1998): 91-103.
(7) Uniquely, she makes a virtue of a kind of secular preterition--"the act of passing by, disregarding, or omitting" ("Preterition")--in favor of theological preterition, the Calvinist doctrine that some are damned a priori, no matter what they do.
technique--Beckett's or Alleg's--is both a form of preterition
The therapeutic regime proceeds according to the notion of "tolerance" and under the scheme of "multiculturalism." Contemporary liberalism habitually sees the average person as condemned to preterition, helplessly enthralled by his reactionary "middle class" ideology, and as embodying an insufferable scandal to his sanctified other.
Suleiman analyzes the rhetorical strategies of preterition, "the paradoxical combination of 'saying while not saying'" (208), that each writer employs to evoke his own problematic memory of childhood trauma.
Again, Thomas dissociates himself from his rhetorical object of denunciation by claiming, with more than a little preterition, to be lost for words at such unseemly behaviour.
They also help Lawson reject sentimentality by means of a conspicuous metatextual gesture, they uncover the authorial need to invalidate the myths the paragraph enumerates, draw attention to the honesty of the account, and--because of the recurrence of preterition and the effort to justify the absences by using double explanations--they also disclose the real and the fictitious character of the story.