WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
re•duc•ti•o ad ab•sur•dum  (ri duktē ō′ ad ab sûrdəm, -zûr-, -shē ō′),USA pronunciation [Logic.]
  1. Philosophya reduction to an absurdity;
    the refutation of a proposition by demonstrating the inevitably absurd conclusion to which it would logically lead.
  • Latin reductiō ad absurdum
  • 1735–45


Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

reductio ad absurdum /rɪˈdʌktɪəʊ æd æbˈsɜːdəm/ n
  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
Etymology: Latin, literally: reduction to the absurd



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