so·​ri·​tes | \ sə-ˈrī-(ˌ)tēz How to pronounce sorites (audio) \
plural sorites

Definition of sorites

: an argument consisting of propositions so arranged that the predicate of any one forms the subject of the next and the conclusion unites the subject of the first proposition with the predicate of the last

Examples of sorites in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Mill doesn't tell us how to deal with the risk of viral notoriety, the sorites problem (in which individual expressions of criticism or objection add up to overwhelming disapproval), or the gender gap in tolerance for public disagreement. Samuel Goldman, The Week, 21 Mar. 2022 There is a puzzle in philosophy called the sorites, or heap paradox., 15 June 2021

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

First Known Use of sorites

1551, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sorites

Latin, from Greek sōritēs, from sōros heap

Learn More About sorites

Time Traveler for sorites

Time Traveler

The first known use of sorites was in 1551

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near sorites




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for sorites

Cite this Entry

“Sorites.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on sorites Encyclopedia article about sorites


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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