from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A construction that employs two negatives, especially to express a single negation.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. 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.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an affirmative constructed from two negatives
- n. a grammatically substandard but emphatic negative
Sorry, no etymologies found.
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!