American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A construction that employs two negatives, especially to express a single negation.
- n. pejorative, rhetoric A phrase in which there are two negative words or their compounds (e.g. no, not, never, none, etc), occasionally leading to ambiguity in the meaning, but necessary in some foreign languages.
- n. an affirmative constructed from two negatives
- n. a grammatically substandard but emphatic negative
“The Misses Boggs lost the rest of the sentence, for at the utterance of the double negative Miss Lydia Carew had flashed out, not in a blur, but with mortal haste, as when life goes out at a pistol shot!”
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