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major term

noun, Logic.
1.
See under syllogism (def 1).
Origin of major term
1855-1860
1855-60

syllogism

[sil-uh-jiz-uh m] /ˈsɪl əˌdʒɪz əm/
noun
1.
Logic. an argument the conclusion of which is supported by two premises, of which one (major premise) contains the term (major term) that is the predicate of the conclusion, and the other (minor premise) contains the term (minor term) that is the subject of the conclusion; common to both premises is a term (middle term) that is excluded from the conclusion. A typical form is “All A is C; all B is A; therefore all B is C.”.
2.
deductive reasoning.
3.
an extremely subtle, sophisticated, or deceptive argument.
Origin
1350-1400; < Latin syllogismus < Greek syllogismós, equivalent to syllog- (see syllogize) + -ismos -ism; replacing Middle English silogime < Old French < Latin, as above
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for major term
Historical Examples
  • For else, in negative moods there will be illicit process of the major term.

    Logic Carveth Read
  • Only one premise can be negative; and, if any, only that in which the major term occurs.

    Logic Carveth Read
  • For, if not, in negative Moods there will be illicit process of the major term.

    Logic Carveth Read
  • Where the fact of its always accompanying the major term, &c., is disputed, there we have what is called a disputed condition.

    The Sarva-Darsana-Samgraha Madhava Acharya
  • The condition and the major term are "equipollent" in their extension.

    The Sarva-Darsana-Samgraha Madhava Acharya
  • The major term is usually the predicate of the major premise and the predicate of the conclusion.

    English: Composition and Literature W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
  • The predicate of the conclusion is called the major term of the syllogism; the subject of the conclusion is called the minor term.

  • “Men” is the middle term, “are mortal” the major term, and “Socrates,” the minor term.

    English: Composition and Literature W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
  • The viruddha-hetu is that which is never found where the major term is.

    The Sarva-Darsana-Samgraha Madhava Acharya
  • For else, the conclusion being negative, there will be illicit process of the major term.

    Logic Carveth Read
British Dictionary definitions for major term

major term

noun
1.
(logic) the predicate of the conclusion of a syllogism, also occurring as the subject or predicate in the major premise

syllogism

/ˈsɪləˌdʒɪzəm/
noun
1.
a deductive inference consisting of two premises and a conclusion, all of which are categorial propositions. The subject of the conclusion is the minor term and its predicate the major term; the middle term occurs in both premises but not the conclusion. There are 256 such arguments but only 24 are valid. Some men are mortal; some men are angelic; so some mortals are angelic is invalid, while some temples are in ruins; all ruins are fascinating; so some temples are fascinating is valid. Here fascinating, in ruins, and temples are respectively major, middle, and minor terms
2.
a deductive inference of certain other forms with two premises, such as the hypothetical syllogism,if P then Q; if Q then R; so if P then R
3.
a piece of deductive reasoning from the general to the particular
4.
a subtle or deceptive piece of reasoning
Word Origin
C14: via Latin from Greek sullogismos, from sullogizesthai to reckon together, from sul-syn- + logizesthai to calculate, from logos a discourse
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for major term

syllogism

n.

late 14c., from Old French silogisme "a syllogism," from Latin syllogismus, from Greek syllogismos "a syllogism," originally "inference, conclusion, computation, calculation," from syllogizesthai "bring together, premise, conclude," literally "think together," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + logizesthai "to reason, count," from logos "a reckoning, reason" (see logos).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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