Definition of litotes noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//laɪˈtəʊtiːz//
; NAmE NAmE//laɪˈtoʊtiːz//
[uncountable] (specialist) Linguistic devices
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the use of a negative or weak statement to emphasize a positive meaning, for example he wasn’t slow to accept the offer (= he was quick to accept the offer) compare understatement Wordfinderalliteration, euphemism, figure of speech, hyperbole, image, litotes, metaphor, metonymy, onomatopoeia, paradox See related entries: Linguistic devices Word Originlate 16th cent.: via late Latin from Greek litotēs, from litos ‘plain, meagre’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: litotes