American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Allusion to something by denying that it will be mentioned, as in I will not bring up my opponent's questionable financial dealings.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In rhetoric, denial of an intention to speak of something which is at the same time hinted or insinuated; paralipsis (which see).
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Rhet.) A figure by which a speaker formally declines to take notice of a favorable point, but in such a manner as to produce the effect desired. [For example, see Mark Antony's oration. Shak., Julius Cæsar, iii. 2.]
- n. mentioning something by saying it will not be mentioned
- From Ancient Greek ἀπόφασις (apophasis), via Latin apophasis. (Wiktionary)
- Late Latin, from Greek, from apophanai, to say no : apo-, apo- + phanai, to say; see bhā-2 in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“There is even a rhetorical figure of speech called apophasis (from the Greek word for "to deny"), in which the speaker stresses an idea by denying or negating it.”
“This notion is so core to rhetoric that the ancient Greeks even had a figure of speech named for it -- apophasis, (from the Greek word for "to deny"), the figure of speech that emphasizes a point by pretending to deny it, that stresses an idea or image by negating it.”
“Unlike other spiritual traditions, including Gnosticism, Pantheism, and forms of Christian apophasis and via negativa, the Buddhist understanding of oneness does not rely on the monotheistic perception of a centrally located source or an indwelling force or principle that acts to create coherency.”
“Sorry, but that sounds more like apophasis than explanation.”
“If you could could somehow mistake an explanation for apophasis, I will not bother to mention how impaired your interpretation is.”
“It's a learned literary-theological study that suggests not only do the great Russian's novels have a kenotic dimension (kenosis, roughly, is the spiritual emptying of one's will to become receptive to God) but also stresses what Russian Christianity inherited from the apophatic tradition (apophasis, roughly, is an inductive technique used by eastern Christians to demonstrate God's existence).”
“I feel like declaring a public war on this species of weak claim, which is just another instance of apophasis.”
“Because there are all kinds of lying--deliberate obfuscation, apophasis, appeals to emotion, etc.”
“In the example of apophasis, a statement in better faith would be to simply assert what one wants to directly and hopefully, back it up with evidence of some kind rather than imply it with plausible deniability built right in.”
“Thus, every assertion is either the affirmation kataphasis or the denial (apophasis) of a single predicate of a single subject.”
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