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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.
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.
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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 ? HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, ? 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. ? 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright ? 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
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|Noun||1.||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)
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. ? 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.