litotes


Also found in: Dictionary, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Graphic Thesaurus  🔍
Display ON
Animation ON
Legend
Synonym
Antonym
Related
  • noun

Synonyms for litotes

understatement for rhetorical effect (especially when expressing an affirmative by negating its contrary)

References in periodicals archive ?
In classical Greece and Rome, speakers recognized hyperbole and litotes as useful devices.
The scarcity, however, is again underlined in the use of litotes. The truth arises in the deception of self.
This inner conflict is effectively rendered by the phrase "these last strands of man / In me," the affirmation "I can," and the litotes "not choose not to be," which, by giving shape to various actors ("man," "me," "I," the not-I), show the speaker's struggle against self-fragmentation.
Whitman represents this tenuousness through a series of double-negative grammatical constructions throughout the poem that function rhetorically in the mode of the litotes: "Do you not hear?" (105); "there is nothing real but" (106); "to sternly reject all except" (106); "impossible to dissever" (107).
"Amici" describes his friends through an initial series of litotes, structured in a loose anaphoric pattern: "Non sono vagabondi o abbaialuna, [...] Non son razza padrona, non sono gente arcigna [...] Contandoli uno a uno non son certo parecchi [...]" ("Amici").
After a series of counterbalanced assertions and negations, using litotes to mix affirmation and ironic understatement--"I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him" (76), "I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke" (102), "It is not meet you know how Caesar lov'd you" (143)--he exploits the full impact of the dramatic disclosure of the body.
It would be a prime example of litotes to state that the Northern Ireland manufacturing sector is under exceedingly mounting pressure.
But the narrative voice, with ironical litotes, has already described Mrs.
LECTURING in law is not the most lucrative occupation (would that constitute an example of litotes, I wonder) but one small perquisite, as yet still untaxed, is having a very interesting mix of colleagues.
Tibullus describes the condition of the rusticus with a form of litotes (male sobrius), (7) and we realize quickly that his drunkenness is ugly as Tibullus moves from the journey home (51-2) to the assault.
Embora a litotes negue a sua irrelevancia, a concessiva seguinte (etiam si), corroborada pelo adverbio aliquando, tem o efeito de anular o tom peremptorio inicial; o verbo obumbrentur confirma a sugestao contida em obscura, ao coloca-los na 'sombra' dos verdadeiros protagonistas, ou seja nos bastidores da accao.
Diaz concludes his detailed analysis, asserting that Borges is a better Whitman who employs the rhetorical device of litotes to indicate a cosmos underlying the apparent chaos of the Aleph and to conjure up the impression of the entire world: "The more partial, minute, and insignificant things Borges enumerates (veins of metal, a tumor, the delicate bones of a hand, the shadows of a fern), the more vividly the impression of infinitude, endlessness, and totality is conveyed [...]" (158).
* Litotes: Defined as saying less but implying a much dense, larger meaning,
The last days of Amrouche are punctuated by a formula of foreshadowing, a ritual of the text: "She is preparing herself ..." concluding with the litotes "she has completed her task" (174).
Tropes (figurative language) include metaphors, similes, metonymy, periphrasis, personification, hyperbole, litotes, rhetorical questions, irony, and paradoxes.