reductio ad absurdum

noun
re·​duc·​tio ad ab·​sur·​dum | \ ri-ˈdək-tē-ˌō-ˌad-əb-ˈsər-dəm How to pronounce reductio ad absurdum (audio) , -ˈdək-sē-ō-, -shē-, -ˈzər-\

Definition of reductio ad absurdum

1 : disproof of a proposition by showing an absurdity to which it leads when carried to its logical conclusion
2 : the carrying of something to an absurd extreme

Examples of reductio ad absurdum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But believe it or not, this reductio ad absurdum has caused major drama at the Indigenous Music Awards in Winnipeg. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Canadians Who Didn’t Say ‘Sorry’," 12 Apr. 2019 Consider the logic of her reductio ad absurdum conclusion. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Gun Control After Las Vegas," 4 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reductio ad absurdum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of reductio ad absurdum

1741, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for reductio ad absurdum

Late Latin, literally, reduction to the absurd

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about reductio ad absurdum

Time Traveler for reductio ad absurdum

Time Traveler

The first known use of reductio ad absurdum was in 1741

See more words from the same year

Statistics for reductio ad absurdum

Cite this Entry

“Reductio ad absurdum.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reductio%20ad%20absurdum. Accessed 22 November 2019.

More from Merriam-Webster on reductio ad absurdum

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about reductio ad absurdum

Comments on reductio ad absurdum

What made you want to look up reductio ad absurdum? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

not agreeing with established beliefs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!