Litotes Definition

lītə-tēz, lĭtə-, lī-tōtēz
Understatement for effect, esp. such understatement in which something is expressed by a negation of the contrary (Ex.: not a few regrets)
Webster's New World
A figure of speech consisting of an understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by negating its opposite, as in This is no small problem.
American Heritage

Origin of Litotes

  • Greek lītotēs from lītos plain lei- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Ancient Greek λιτότης (litotÄ“s), from λιτός (litos, “simple").

    From Wiktionary

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