litotes definition

  • noun:
    • A figure of speech composed of an understatement by which an affirmative is expressed by negating its opposing, such as this really is no small problem.
    • A figure of speech when the speaker emphasizes the magnitude of a statement by denying its reverse; a figure of message in which understatement is employed with negation to convey a positive characteristic; a type of paradox
    • A diminution or softening of declaration in the interests of avoiding censure or enhancing the impact by comparison aided by the moderation shown in the shape of appearance; a form of understatement.
    • In rhetoric, a figure in which an affirmative is expressed because of the negative of the contrary. Thus, “a citizen of no mean town” means one “of an illustrious town.”
    • understatement for rhetorical impact (especially when expressing an affirmative by negating its contrary)

Related Sources

  • Definition for "litotes"
    • A figure of speech composed of an understatement…
    • View More
  • Sentence for "litotes"
    • At first called litotes or meiosis,…
    • View More
  • Hypernym for "litotes"
  • Cross Reference for "litotes"
  • Urban Dictionary for "litotes"
77 votes

How would you define litotes?

All the definitions on AZdictionary were written by people just like you. Now's your chance to add your own!