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LITOTES (Gr. XtrOrzls, plainness, ALT...

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 792 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LITOTES (Gr. XtrOrzls, plainness, ALTOS, plain, simple, smooth), a rhetorical figure in which emphasis is secured for a statement by turning it into a denial of the contrary, e.g. " a citizen of no mean city," i.e. a citizen of a famous city, "A. is not a man to be neglected." Litotes is sometimes used for what should be more strictly called "meiosis" (Gr. µeiwves, lessening, diminution, peiow, lesser), where the expressions used apparently are weak or understated, but the effect is to intensify.
End of Article: LITOTES (Gr. XtrOrzls, plainness, ALTOS, plain, simple, smooth)
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