Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A figure of speech by which what is to be understood affirmatively is stated negatively, and vice versa; affirmation by contraries.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A figure of speech by which what is to be understood affirmatively is stated negatively, and the contrary; affirmation by contraries.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In rhetoric, a figure of speech consisting in expression of an idea by negation of its contrary, or by use of a word of opposite meaning.

Etymologies

From Ancient Greek ἐναντίος ("contradiction"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • Now I'm wondering whether you really mean that...

    (O.E.D. definition for this word: 'a figure of speech in which the opposite is meant to what is said; irony.')

    April 3, 2009

  • All these lovely words make me wish I had studied rhetoric.

    April 3, 2009