Figures of Speech IloveIndia

Enthymeme is a rhetorical device that reaches a conclusion on the truth of its contrary. Explore enthymeme examples for a better understanding of this figure of speech.

Enthymeme Examples

Enthymeme is one of the most frequently used rhetorical devices in English language that have been in vogue ever since the time of Aristotle. Also called as rhetorical syllogism, this technique employs subtle art of persuasion to engage one's emotions, reasoning, and morals by virtue of rhetoric. It is an informally stated reasoning that deliberately omits one part of the deduction - the premise or the conclusion - and is often based on probabilities, examples, signs or indications. Usually the conclusions are not explicit and at times, it might tax your ability to figure out the hidden connotation behind it. The usage of enthymemes is extensive in humor and is commonly employed in advertorials. All said and done, enthymemes aren't always inexplicit. At times there are major assumptions written largely over it. Enthymeme was first used in Standard English sometime during the early part of 19th century and is still prominently used in our day-to-day life. In simple terms, enthymeme is just an incomplete syllogism. Explore the list of enthymeme examples to gain a deeper understanding on this.

Examples Of Enthymeme

Enthymeme Examples In Literature
Statement: "If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit." - Attorney Johnny Cochran in the O.J. Simpson trial
Description: The glove doesn't fit the defendant.
The glove is evidence.
Therefore, you must acquit the defendant

Statement: 'He must be a socialist because he favors a graduated income-tax.'
Description: He is a socialist
He favors a graduated income-tax.
Assumption: Either anyone who favors a graduated income-tax is a socialist or a socialist is anyone who favors a graduated income-tax

Other Examples:
  • "With a name like Smucker's, it has to be good." - slogan of Smucker's jams, jellies, and preserves
  • "But Brutus says he was ambitious; And Brutus is an honorable man." - Mark Antony from Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar'
  • He is an American citizen, so he is entitled to due process.
    (The hidden premise is: All American citizens are entitled to due process.)
  • "Mark'd ye his words? He would not take the crown. Therefore 'tis certain he was not ambitious." - (Mark Antony speaking of Julius Caesar in William Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar')
  • Ed is allergic to foods containing monosodium glutamate, so he cannot eat Chinese food seasoned with it.
  • She could not have committed this horrible crime; I have known her since she was a child.
  • A political system can be just only when those who make its laws keep well informed about the subject and effect of those laws. This is why our system is in danger of growing unjust.
  • No minority will be a person who will get this job.
    I am a minority.
    Therefore, I am not a person who will get this job
  • "Now, I don't know or have never met my candidate; and for that reason I am more apt to say something good of him than anyone else." - Will Rogers.
  • Of course she is dumb, she is a woman
  • John will surely fail his calculus exam, because he hasn't studied.
  • Where there is smoke, there is fire.
  • I have a goal to do.
    Carrying out this action is a means to realize the goal.
    Therefore, I ought to carry out this action.
  • The gun has the defendant's fingerprints on the trigger. He is clearly guilty!
    (Edward P.J. Corbett and Robert J. Connors, Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student, 4th ed. Oxford Univ. Press, 1999)
  • "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." - Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle, 1988.
    The hidden premises might be: Jack Kennedy was a great man, and you are not a great man.
Enthymeme Examples Advertising
  • "If it's Borden's, it's got to be good."
    (Advertising slogan)
  • "Want him to be more of a man? Try being more of a woman!"
    (Advertising slogan for Coty perfume)
  • "Buy this car and you will have more sexual satisfaction" (this would be easier to reject as anassumption)
Enthymeme Examples Aristotle
  • All humans are mortal. Socrates is human. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
  • Dependent creatures should be humble. We are dependent creatures. Therefore, we should be humble.
  • Bad boys should get spankings. You have been bad. Therefore, you should get spankings.
  • Nothing Relieves Pain Faster than Bayer Aspirin. I have pain. I will take Bayer Aspirin.
  • Jesus had a helper facilitate his necessary martyrdom.Someone who directs his own martyrdom can't be a victim. Therefore, the Jews didn't victimize him.
  • "There is no law against composing music when one has no ideas whatsoever. The music of Wagner, therefore, is perfectly legal." - Mark Twain.
The word 'enthymeme' is derived from the Latin word 'enth?mema' and from the Greek 'enthumema'. An argumentative statement is said to contain a conclusion and one supposition where the supposition is to be implied. Enthymeme examples are more common in literature than social talks. Usage of the enthymemes are an instrument for slightly minimizing and yet pointing out some assertion in the way of omitting conclusion. It makes the reader work out an own conclusion and nudges him further to read on to get a clear picture of his premise.

blt1Adjunction Examples
blt1Allegory Examples
blt1Alliteration Examples
blt1Allusion Examples
blt1Anadiplosis Examples
blt1Analogy Examples
blt1Anaphora Examples
blt1Anastrophe Examples
blt1Antecedent Examples
blt1Anticlimax Examples
blt1Antimetabole Examples
blt1Antithesis Examples
blt1Antonomasia Examples
blt1Apostrophes Examples
blt1Appositive Examples
blt1Assonance Examples
blt1Asyndeton Examples
blt1Chiasmus Examples
blt1Climax Examples
blt1Consonance Examples
blt1Double Negative Examples
blt1Enthymeme Examples
blt1Epistrophe Examples
blt1Epithet Examples
blt1Euphemism Examples
blt1False Analogy Examples
blt1Funny Metaphors Examples
blt1Hyperbole Examples
blt1Idiom Examples
blt1Imagery Examples
blt1Irony Examples
blt1Jargon Examples
blt1Examples Of Litotes
blt1Metaphor Examples
blt1Metonymy Examples
blt1Onomatopoeia Examples
blt1Oxymoron Examples
blt1Palindrome Examples
blt1Paralipsis Examples
blt1Parallelism Examples
blt1Parenthesis Examples
blt1Personification Examples
blt1Polysyndeton Examples
blt1Pun Examples
blt1Rhetorical Questions Examples
blt1Simile Examples
blt1Stereotypes Examples
blt1Symbolism Examples
blt1Synecdoche Examples
blt1Tautology Examples
blt1Understatement Examples
blt1Verbal Irony Examples
blt1Zeugma Examples
blt1Abstract Nouns Examples
blt1Commonly Misspelled Words
blt1Types Of Verbs
blt1Usage Of Semicolon
blt1Demonstrative Adjectives
blt1Comma Splice Examples
blt1Usage Of Colon
blt1Apostrophe Usage
blt1Helping Verbs
blt1List of Prepositions
blt1Parts Of Speech
blt1What Are Prepositions
blt1What Is A Noun
blt1Whom Vs Who
blt1Types Of Adjectives
blt1Types Of Sentences
blt1Types Of Tenses
blt1What Are Adjectives
blt1What Are Adverbs
blt1What Is A Predicate
blt1What Is A Pronoun
blt1Ensure Vs Insure
blt1Empathy Vs Sympathy
blt1Degrees of Comparison
blt1Dangling Modifiers
blt1Compliment Vs Complement
blt1Common Homophones List
blt1Common Grammatical Errors
blt1Colon Vs Semicolon
blt1Affect Vs Effect
blt1Linking Verbs
blt1Prepositional Phrases List
blt1Types of Clauses
blt1Use Of Articles In English
blt1When To Use A Comma
blt1When To Use A Hyphen
blt1Passive Voice & Active Voice
blt1Subject Verb Agreement

More from