reductio ad absurdum

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 The weakness of reductio ad absurdum arguments is that sometimes the opponent just accepts the absurd argument, too. Dominic Pino, National Review, 3 Mar. 2022 Ross provides a reductio ad absurdum for a quiet digital-age truth: A sprinkling of coveted intellectual property can allow a shrewd company to punch well above its weight. Washington Post, 30 July 2021 Some might see Trader Joe’s as the reductio ad absurdum of this movement’s political demands. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, 16 Dec. 2020 The reductio ad absurdum of monument revisionism is thus in sight. Stanley Kurtz, National Review, 17 Sep. 2020 The reductio ad absurdum of these scenes comes in a brief discussion between Woodward and Trump on racial justice, amid interviews that are ostensibly about the coronavirus. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 15 Sep. 2020 But believe it or not, this reductio ad absurdum has caused major drama at the Indigenous Music Awards in Winnipeg. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 12 Apr. 2019 Consider the logic of her reductio ad absurdum conclusion. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, 4 Oct. 2017 See More

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

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The first known use of reductio ad absurdum was in 1741

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Cite this Entry

“Reductio ad absurdum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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