Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A figure of speech whereby a question is asked in confident expectation of a negative answer.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A figure of speech by which a strong affirmation of the contrary, is implied under the form of an earnest interrogation, as in the following lines;

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In rhetoric, a figure of speech consisting in the use of a question or questions for oratorical purposes, as, for instance, to imply a negative, as in the following quotation. Also called eperotesis and epitrochasmus. See question.

Etymologies

From Late Latin erotesis, from Ancient Greek ἐρώτησις (erōtēsis), from ἐρωτάω (erōtaō, "I question"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • He would break off in the midst of one of his frequent disputes on the subject of names, and “in a spirited epiphonema, or rather erotesis,” demand of his antagonist “whether he would take upon him to say he had ever remembered, whether he had ever read, or whether he had ever heard tell of a man called Tristram performing anything great or worth recording.

    Sterne

  • One particular type of rhetorical question favored by Homer is erotesis, a question implying strong affirmation or denial: "Donuts.

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Comments

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  • A rhetorical question.

    May 20, 2008