reductio ad absurdum
Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to reductio ad absurdum: 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.]
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)
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)
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
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||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|
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.