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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ In the course of forensic argument distorted syllogisms will of course be urged upon those who judge.
▪ It was on the basis of that syllogism that the connection between schools and parents developed for another decade or more.
▪ It was taught dogmatically, with much logic-chopping and illustrative syllogisms.
▪ Like the Gnostics, he based his spirituality on direct experience rather than on syllogisms.
▪ The adjective that forms part of the syllogism is one that has come to form a sort of collocation with the noun.
▪ The third appears to be a deduction from the first two, but the syllogism is false.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Syllogism \Syl"lo*gism\, n. [OE. silogisme, OF. silogime, sillogisme, F. syllogisme, L. syllogismus, Gr. syllogismo`s a reckoning all together, a reasoning, syllogism, fr. syllogi`zesqai to reckon all together, to bring at once before the mind, to infer, conclude; sy`n with, together + logi`zesqai to reckon, to conclude by reasoning. See Syn-, and Logistic, Logic.] (Logic) The regular logical form of every argument, consisting of three propositions, of which the first two are called the premises, and the last, the conclusion. The conclusion necessarily follows from the premises; so that, if these are true, the conclusion must be true, and the argument amounts to demonstration;

Note: as in the following example: [1913 Webster] Every virtue is laudable; Kindness is a virtue; Therefore kindness is laudable. [1913 Webster] These propositions are denominated respectively the major premise, the minor premise, and the conclusion.

Note: If the premises are not true and the syllogism is regular, the reasoning is valid, and the conclusion, whether true or false, is correctly derived.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 14c., from Old French silogisme "a syllogism, scholastic argument based on a formula or proof" (13c., Modern French syllogisme), from Latin syllogismus, from Greek syllogismos "a syllogism," originally "inference, conclusion; computation, calculation," from syllogizesthai "bring together before the mind, compute, conclude," literally "think together," from assimilated form of syn- "together" (see syn-) + logizesthai "to reason, count," from logos "a reckoning, reason" (see logos).


n. (context logic English) An inference in which one proposition (the conclusion) follows necessarily from two other propositions, known as the premises.


n. deductive reasoning in which a conclusion is derived from two premises


A syllogism ( syllogismos, "conclusion, inference") is a kind of logical argument that applies deductive reasoning to arrive at a conclusion based on two or more propositions that are asserted or assumed to be true.

In its earliest form, defined by Aristotle, from the combination of a general statement (the major premise) and a specific statement (the minor premise), a conclusion is deduced. For example, knowing that all men are mortal (major premise) and that Socrates is a man (minor premise), we may validly conclude that Socrates is mortal. Syllogistic arguments are usually represented in a three-line form (without sentence-terminating periods):

All men are mortal Socrates is a man Therefore Socrates is mortal

Usage examples of "syllogism".

Such an argument is sometimes exhibited as a Syllogism in Darapti with a Minor premise in U.

It was bound to become obsolescent sooner or later, just as sorites and paradigms and syllogisms became obsolete before it.

After this wise advice I avoided syllogism, which tended toward conviction.

Here the Homilies remind one strongly of the Syllogisms of Apelles, the author of which, in other respects, opposed them in the interest of his doctrine of creating angels.

Hypothetical Syllogism is one that consists of a Hypothetical Major Premise, a Categorical Minor Premise, and a Categorical Conclusion.

Syllogisms with two hypothetical premises leave us still with a hypothetical conclusion.

Dilemma, then, is a compound Conditional Syllogism, having for its Major Premise two Hypothetical Propositions, and for its Minor Premise a Disjunctive Proposition, whose alternative terms either affirm the Antecedents or deny the Consequents of the two Hypothetical Propositions forming the Major Premise.

The relation between the premises of a valid syllogism and its conclusion is the same as the relation between the antecedent and consequent of a hypothetical proposition.

The cautious old gentleman knit his brows tenfold closer after this explanation, being sorely puzzled by the ratiocination of the syllogism, while methought the one in pepper-and-salt eyed him with something of a triumphant leer.

Objector to the Syllogism need not be a Materialist, but assuming that he is one, he is as much entitled to the hypothesis that Matter thinks as a Theist is to his hypothesis that it does not.

Syllogism in the Second Figure with two affirmative premises, and therefore the fallacy of undistributed Middle.

Extract from the following speech a series of Syllogisms, or arguments having the form of Syllogisms: and test their correctness.

But it was maintained that so many dehumanizing ideas were mixed up with his conceptions of man, and so many diabolizing attributes embodied in his imagination of the Deity, that his system of beliefs was tainted throughout by them, and that the fact of his being so remarkable a logician recoiled on the premises which pointed his inexorable syllogisms to such revolting conclusions.

What is our insomnia but the mad obstinacy of our mind in manufacturing thoughts and trains of reasoning, syllogisms and definitions of its own, refusing to abdicate in favor of that divine stupidity of closed eyes, or the wise folly of dreams?

To each memorable image you attach a thought, a label, a category, a piece of the cosmic furniture, syllogisms, an enormous sorites, chains of apothegms, strings of hypallages, rosters of zeugmas, dances of hysteron proteron, apophantic logoi, hierarchic stoichea, processions of equinoxes and parallaxes, herbaria, genealogies of gymnosophists— and so on, to infinity.