Definition of modus ponens in English:

modus ponens

Line breaks: modus po¦nens
Pronunciation: /ˌməʊdəs ˈpəʊnɛnz


  • 1The rule of logic which states that if a conditional statement (‘if p then q’) is accepted, and the antecedent (p) holds, then the consequent (q) may be inferred.
    More example sentences
    • The statement that q follows by modus ponens from the other two stated as known in the antecedent of the subjunctive principle P; this principle counts on the person to draw the inference to q.
    • It could be a premise either, as some say, as the premise of a propositional scheme such as the modus ponens, or, as others assume, as the conditional premise of a hypothetical syllogism.
    • We also noted that one of the most fundamental inferences concerning the conditional is modus ponens: a, a c c.
  • 1.1An argument using the rule of modus ponens.
    More example sentences
    • Consider, for example, propositional logic: here one can start from self-evident axioms and proceed to deduce theorems by argument forms - modus ponens, for example - that are themselves self-evidently valid in an obvious sense.
    • The first three points are a valid form of argument, in the form of modus ponens.
    • Robustness was meant to ensure that an assertable conditional is fit for modus ponens.


Latin, literally 'mood that affirms'.

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