apophatic


noun

  1. Rhetoric. denial of one’s intention to speak of a subject that is at the same time named or insinuated, as “I shall not mention Caesar’s avarice, nor his cunning, nor his morality.”
  2. Theology. knowledge, understanding, or description of God through negative statements about qualities and characteristics that God does not possess, as “God is not confined by space or time.”See also negative theology.

noun

  1. rhetoric the device of mentioning a subject by stating that it will not be mentionedI shall not discuss his cowardice or his treachery
adj.

“involving a mention of something one feigns to deny; involving knowledge obtained by negation,” 1850, from Greek apophatikos, from apophasis “denial, answer,” from apophanai “to speak off,” from apo- “off” (see apo-) + phanai “to speak,” related to pheme “voice” (see fame (n.)).

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