Definition of syllogism in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsɪlədʒɪz(ə)m/


1An instance of a form of reasoning in which a conclusion is drawn from two given or assumed propositions (premises); a common or middle term is present in the two premises but not in the conclusion, which may be invalid (e.g. all dogs are animals; all animals have four legs; therefore all dogs have four legs).
Example sentences
  • Moreover, modern usage distinguishes between valid syllogisms (the conclusions of which follow from their premises) and invalid syllogisms (the conclusions of which do not follow from their premises).
  • In the latter, the syllogisms involved must have middle terms that are causes of the state of affairs which is to be demonstrated.
  • Both syllogisms have the same conclusion and the same logical form, but the syllogism immediately above has false premisses.
1.1 [mass noun] Deductive reasoning as distinct from induction.
Example sentences
  • This was, I felt, an argument that strained to yoke syllogism to its cause from love rather than good sense.
  • I don't rightly know, but I'll propose a possible counterexample - a 20 th-c. poet who often proceeded by syllogism at least as much as by coherence of feeling: Philip Larkin.
  • This is grand strategy by vacant syllogism and cliche.



Pronunciation: /sɪləˈdʒɪstɪk/
Example sentences
  • What process of syllogistic reasoning can lead us to conclude that Hamlet is a greater work of art than The Long Goodbye, or that Goodbye is nonetheless a terrific book?
  • Some of these commentators build up dialectics into an alternative to all previous forms of logic, something that supersedes such ordinary reasoning as the simple syllogistic form of argument set out on the first page of this chapter.
  • Thus, contrary to Piaget's predictions, not only were adults not able to separate form from content, they had difficulty with syllogistic reasoning itself.


Pronunciation: /sɪləˌˈdʒɪstɪk(ə)li/
Example sentences
  • Here's the question: Many of your beliefs might flow logically (perhaps not syllogistically, but using logical argument) from other beliefs.
  • You are taking an arrogant liberty in syllogistically assuming that those who support refugees do not ‘give a damn’ about the laws of this country.
  • Both Communism and anti-Communism derive tests of faith syllogistically from shaky first principles.


Late Middle English: via Old French or Latin from Greek sullogismos, from sullogizesthai, from sun- 'with' + logizesthai 'to reason' (from logos 'reasoning').

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: syl¦lo|gism

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