Definition of litotes in English:


Translate litotes into Spanish


  • Ironic understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by the negative of its contrary (e.g., you won't be sorry, meaning you'll be glad).

    ‘Yet this definition fails to explain instances of litotes, or understatement, which is often classified as a kind of irony.’
    • ‘First one must register his anti-Idealism, his antipathy toward the idea becoming metonymical litotes for such.’
    • ‘But, if we follow Schwarzbach, Dickens's description of the street mire in Holborn is, if anything, understated - ‘mud’ is not hyperbole, but litotes.’
    • ‘Next thing you know, they'll be using dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and… satire.’
    • ‘The manager, a man adept in the use of litotes, said: ‘It wasn't the best game of pure football in the world.‘’
    minimization, trivialization, euphemism



/ˈlīdəˌtēz/ /ˈlaɪdəˌtiz/ /ˈlidəˌtēz/ /ˈlɪdəˌtiz/ /līˈtōdēz/ /laɪˈtoʊdiz/


Late 16th century via late Latin from Greek litotēs, from litos ‘plain, meager’.