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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.”.
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 .
(rhetoric) the device of mentioning a subject by stating that it will not be mentioned: I shall not discuss his cowardice or his treachery

pertaining to a knowledge of God obtained through negation
Word Origin

Gk. apophatikos
Usage Note


“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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  • Apophthegm

    . a short, pithy, instructive saying; a terse remark or aphorism. Historical Examples As some say, Solon was the author of the apophthegm, “Nothing in excess.” Familiar Quotations John Bartlett This apophthegm is one of the landmarks of religious history. The Expositor’s Bible: The Epistle to the Galatians G. G. Findlay The lump of earth, […]

  • Apophyge

    a small, concave, outward curve joining the shaft of a column, especially a classical column, to its base. Also called hypophyge. a similar curve joining the shaft of a column to its capital. Historical Examples The apophyge is the inverted cavetto or concave sweep, on the upper edge of which the diminishing shaft rests. Encyclopaedia […]

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