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so·ri·tes(sə-rī′tēz, sô-) Logic
n. pl. sorites
1. An argument presenting a series of premises that can be analyzed as a chain of syllogisms, with each syllogism's major term forming the minor term of the next, until a final conclusion is attained. For example, a sorites might consist of the premises that some pets are snakes, that no snakes have fur, and that only furry things are cuddly, yielding the conclusion that not all pets are cuddly.
2. An argument exploiting the imprecision of everyday language to reach a paradoxical conclusion. The classic argument of this sort maintains that one grain of sand does not make a heap and that adding a single grain of sand to something that is not a heap does not make a heap, yielding the conclusion that no additional amount of sand can make a heap.
Of or relating to a sorites: a sorites paradox.
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.
a. a polysyllogism in which the premises are arranged so that intermediate conclusions are omitted, being understood, and only the final conclusion is stated
b. a paradox of the form: these few grains of sand do not constitute a heap, and the addition of a single grain never makes what is not yet a heap into a heap: so no matter how many single grains one adds it never becomes a heap.
[C16: via Latin from Greek sōreitēs, literally: heaped, from sōros a heap]
soritical, soˈritic adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
sor•i•tes(sɔˈraɪ tiz, soʊ-)
a form of argument having several premises and one conclusion, capable of being resolved into a chain of syllogisms, the conclusion of each of which is a premise of the next.
[1545–55; < Latin sōrītēs < Greek sōreítēs, derivative of sōrós a heap]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
an elliptical series of syllogism, in which the premises are so arranged that the predicate of the first is the subject of the next, continuing thus until the subject of the first is united with the predicate of the last. — soritical, soritic, adj.See also: Logic
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Soritesa heap or series of propositions; a heap or pile.
Examples: sorites of flaming anthracite, 1871; sorites of facts, 1875; sorites of observances, 1664; song sorites of sciences and tongues, 1670.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.