Exception-that-proves-the-rule meaning

A form of argument in which the existence of a counterexample to a rule is used to demonstrate the fact that a rule exists.
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(idiomatic) The rare occurrence of a counterexample to a rule, used to underscore that the rule exists.
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Origin of exception-that-proves-the-rule

  • It is derived from the medieval Latin legal principle: exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis (the exception confirms the rule in the cases not excepted).

    From Wiktionary