Definition of aporia in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈpɔːrɪə/
Pronunciation: /əˈpɒrɪə/


1An irresolvable internal contradiction or logical disjunction in a text, argument, or theory: the celebrated aporia whereby a Cretan declares all Cretans to be liars
More example sentences
  • But it will never repay a certain kind of close reading, that which is in vogue today and looks for aporias, fissures, self-subversions, and the rest of the deconstructionist's tool-kit.
  • Sublimity is a complex of undecidables and aporias of which Levi-narrator is only partially aware and which is often in an adversarial relation to his stated intentions.
  • Hence the book is embroiled in a number of aporias: between seeing and telling, between self and other, and between event and discourse.
1.1 [mass noun] Rhetoric The expression of doubt.
Example sentences
  • We already know synchronic and diachronic are out - but what of aporia and synecdoche?
  • The figure of aporia, after all, can foreground the significance of the very subject the speaker expresses doubt about how to approach.
  • Brian Henry, a younger poet, shares with Palmer a fascination with negativity, absence and aporia.



Example sentences
  • This process of aporetic oscillation between collective and personal instances of remembrance incessantly constructs and reconstructs our view of the past and generates individual and often differing versions of past events.
  • Someone who was giving me comments on my piece mentioned that a comment was ‘too aporetic.’
  • It is undeniable that many of Aristotle's treatises are, in large part, aporetic in style - that they discuss problems, and discuss them piecemeal.


Mid 16th century: via late Latin from Greek, from aporos 'impassable', from a- 'without' + poros 'passage'.

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