reductio ad absurdum

noun re·duc·tio ad ab·sur·dum \ ri-ˈdək-tē-ˌō-ˌad-əb-ˈsər-dəm , -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

Recent Examples of reductio ad absurdum from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of reductio ad absurdum

Late Latin, literally, reduction to the absurd


Learn More about reductio ad absurdum


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to buzz or drone

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
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!