Definition of negation in English:


Line breaks: neg|ation
Pronunciation: /nɪˈgeɪʃ(ə)n


[mass noun]
  • 1The contradiction or denial of something: there should be confirmation—or negation—of the findings
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    • In Literary Theory and the Claims of History, Satya Mohanty posits a hermeneutics of affirmation in contrast to Jacques Derrida's hermeneutics of negation.
    • I have long thought that Levine's negations and denials were in fact forms of affirmation and acceptance, ways of warding off sentimentality and bad faith.
    • Apophasis transcends both affirmation and negation, refuting in both any possible attainment of understanding beyond the limitation of conceptual analysis.
  • 1.1 Grammar Denial of the truth of a clause or sentence, typically involving the use of a negative word (e.g. not, no, never) or a word or affix with negative force (e.g. nothing, non-).
    More example sentences
    • The implicit negation in words like fail and ignore may be especially difficult to untangle.
    • What about sentences containing operators like negation and conjunction?
    • At this point, the intensifier is not longer a free agent, but has become a sort of contractual associate of the negation.
  • 1.2 [count noun] Logic A proposition whose assertion specifically denies the truth of another proposition: the negation of A is, briefly, ‘not A’
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    • E propositions, or universal negations take the form: No S are P.
    • And with negations of conditionals and conditionals in antecedents, we saw, the problem is reversed: we assert conditionals which we would not believe if we construed them truth-functionally.
    • An antinomy is the peculiar fallacy which enables us to derive both a proposition and its negation from the same premiss.
  • 1.3 Mathematics Inversion: [count noun]: these formulae and their negations
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    • Hume notes that we cannot imagine or conceive of the negations of typical mathematical theorems, but this seems to be a weak hold on the necessity of mathematics.
  • 2The absence or opposite of something actual or positive: evil is not merely the negation of goodness
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    • It is the opposite or negation of the first stage, and hence is known as the antithesis.
    • It is merely the negation of something else, and therefore an empty formal category.
    • To different degrees (as illustrated in the inferential results below) MPs tend to stand for positive usage of a value and oppose the negation of these values.
    opposite, reverse, antithesis, contrary, inverse, converse; absence, lack, want, deficiency



Pronunciation: /nɪˈgeɪt(ə)ri, ˈnɛgət(ə)ri/
More example sentences
  • ‘I - no, I don't think - no, that's completely negatory, Gypsy,’ he stammered, blushing again.


late Middle English: from Latin negatio(n-), from the verb negare 'deny' (see negate).

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