Definition of reductio ad absurdum in US English:

reductio ad absurdum


  • A method of proving the falsity of a premise by showing that its logical consequence is absurd or contradictory.

    • ‘It's an entertaining reductio ad absurdum against those who complain about the unfairness of low-cost production by foreigners.’
    • ‘Indeed, this is going to be something of a reductio ad absurdum.’
    • ‘For some reason, this strikes me as the reductio ad absurdum of the whole project.’
    • ‘The argument that says no individual has power leads to a reductio ad absurdum.’
    • ‘Opposition to stem-cell research is the reductio ad absurdum of the right-to-life argument.’


Latin, literally ‘reduction to the absurd’.


reductio ad absurdum

/rəˌdəktēō ad abˈsərdəm//rəˌdəktioʊ æd æbˈsərdəm/