|reductio ad absurdum (rɪˈdʌktɪəʊ æd æbˈsɜːdəm)|
|1.||a method of disproving a proposition by showing that its inevitable consequences would be absurd|
|2.||a method of indirectly proving a proposition by assuming its negation to be true and showing that this leads to an absurdity|
|3.||application of a principle or proposed principle to an instance in which it is absurd|
|[Latin, literally: reduction to the absurd]|
reductio ad absurdum
(Latin: "reduction to absurdity"), in logic, a form of refutation showing contradictory or absurd consequences following upon premises as a matter of logical necessity. A form of the reductio ad absurdum argument, known as indirect proof or reductio ad impossibile, is one that proves a proposition by showing that its denial conjoined with other propositions previously proved or accepted leads to a contradiction. In common speech the term reductio ad absurdum refers to anything pushed to absurd extremes.
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