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[en-thuh-meem] /ˈɛn θəˌmim/
noun, Logic.
a syllogism or other argument in which a premise or the conclusion is unexpressed.
1580-90; < Latin enthȳmēma < Greek enthȳ́mēma thought, argument, equivalent to enthȳmē-, variant stem of enthȳmeîsthai to ponder (en- en-2 + -thȳmeîsthai verbal derivative of thȳmós spirit, thought) + -ma noun suffix of result
Related forms
[en-thuh-mee-mat-ik] /ˌɛn θə miˈmæt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for enthymeme
  • Contends that music without lyrics can serve as an argument by functioning as a form of enthymeme.
British Dictionary definitions for enthymeme


noun (logic)
an incomplete syllogism, in which one or more premises are unexpressed as their truth is considered to be self-evident
any argument some of whose premises are omitted as obvious
Derived Forms
enthymematic, enthymematical, adjective
Word Origin
C16: via Latin from Greek enthumēma, from enthumeisthai to infer (literally: to have in the mind), from en-² + thumos mind
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for enthymeme

"a syllogism in which one premise is omitted," 1580s, from Latin enthymema, from Greek enthymema "thought, argument," from enthymesthai "to think, consider," literally "to keep in mind, take to heart," from en "in" (see en- (2)) + thymos "mind" (see fume (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for enthymeme

in syllogistic, or traditional, logic, name of a syllogistic argument that is incompletely stated. In the argument "All insects have six legs; therefore, all wasps have six legs," the minor premise, "All wasps are insects," is suppressed. Any one of the propositions may be omitted-even the conclusion; but in general it is the one that comes most naturally to the mind. Often in rhetorical language the deliberate omission of one of the propositions has a dramatic effect. This use of the word differs from Aristotle's original application of it (in his Prior Analytics, ii, 27) to a rhetorical syllogism (employed for persuasion instead of instruction) based on "probabilities or signs"; i.e., on propositions that are generally valid or on particular facts that may be held to justify a general principle or another particular fact.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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