– NASA’s Mission Control spokesman in a statement just after the space shuttle Challenger exploded. Understatements can be used for different purposes and outcomes. Perhaps the idea really is idiotic ... but is saying as much likely to incline them to change their opinion? It is not just a specialty of the English sense of humour; it is a way of life. "Understatement." understatement for rhetorical effect, esp when achieved by using negation with a term in place of using an antonym of that term, as in "She was not a little upset " for "She was extremely upset". It can also be a technique used to evoke emotions within the reader or audience. Check your inbox for an email about the scholarship and how to apply. understatement (usually uncountable, plural understatements) An incomplete statement , particularly : ( uncountable , rhetoric ) A figure of speech whereby something is made to seem smaller or less important than it actually is, either through phrasing or lack of emphasis , often for ironic effect ; … 4. Here are some examples to demonstrate the use of the literary device. Understatement is generally intended to be humorous. (George Mikes, "The use of understatement is something that, There are many other alternatives we could use, but consider that if we want to convince the person that they are mistaken then we need to pitch our objections accordingly. 2.basically a figure of speech that writers use to subtly make a … It isn’t very serious. Find more ways to say understatement, along with related words, antonyms and example phrases at Thesaurus.com, the world's most trusted free thesaurus. Understatement can be used intentionally or unintentionally; in the latter case, the result is often humorous or sounds ignorant. I have just been listening to a man who got lost in a forest abroad for a week and was scrutinised by hungry wolves, smacking their lips. I have this tiny little tumor on the brain.”. understatements synonyms, understatements pronunciation, understatements translation, English dictionary definition of understatements. Collins English Dictionary. Also, see: No one will take such an idiotic theory seriously. understatement for rhetorical effect (especially when expressing an affirmative by negating its contrary); "saying `I was not a little upset' when you mean `I … I have this tiny little tumor on the brain. Understatement is very common in everyday speech. It isn't very serious. You read that right—We're giving away free scholarship money! Our next winner will receive over $500 in funds. Litotes are literary devices related to understatement, using double negatives in order to convey understatement or an opposite idea. "Understatement." Antithesis emphasizes the idea of contrast by parallel structures of the contrasted phrases or clauses, i.e. Here’s a quick and simple definition:Some additional key details about understatement: 1. Many people in the media or in professions where violence is commonplace (doctors, nurses, emergency technicians, police, or military) use understatement to avoid panicking patients, patients’ families and friends, or the general populace. Completely original—just for you. Funds can be used for tuition, books, housing, and/or other school expenses. (I’m exhausted.) Dr. Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks. Understatement is the opposite of hyperbole and overstatement, and helps develop irony and sarcasm in writing or speech. Nordquist, Richard. (2020, August 27). The man replied that on the seventh day when there were no rescuers in sight and the sixth hungry wolf joined the pack, he 'got a bit worried.' Get your existing paper edited (improved) by a seasoned professional. Custom writing from scratch. Rhetoric is the name for the study of writing or speaking as a means of communication or persuasion, and though a writer doesn’t need to know the specific labels for certain writing techniques in order to use them effectively, it is sometimes helpful to have a handy taxonomy for the ways in which words and ideas are arranged. A New York Times writer called Warren M. Anderson “A Master of the Politics of Understatement” in a 1988 news article, citing his “low-key” attitude as the source of his “somewhat wooden and meticulously polite” appearances in public. Litotes is a common literary device, most often used in speech, rhetoric, and nonfiction.As a figure of speech, the meaning of litotes is not literal. Y… "Understatement is still in the air. Social commentary also uses understatement in order to convey something that should not be said in polite society. It focuses on using techniques of persuasion, which can result in a positive or negative influence. Understatement can be used to avoid telling a truth that might hurt or harm the people someone loves, as is exemplified by the following Lawrence Oates comment. Another word for understatement. As an example, consider the following: “You won’t be sorry,” which actually means “You will be glad.”. A rhetorical device uses words in a certain way to convey meaning or to persuade. Litotes definition, understatement, especially that in which an affirmative is expressed by the negative of its contrary, as in “not bad at all.” See more. Yesterday, a man in charge of a home where 600 old people lived, which was found to be a fire risk where all the inhabitants might burn to death, admitted: 'I may have a problem.'" a writer presents a situation or thing as if it is less important or serious than it is in reality Comedic: This type of understatement adds humor to an otherwise serious situation. Understatement is a figure of speech in which a writer or speaker deliberately makes a situation seem less important or serious than it is. Apply today for your chance to win! What is understatement? . Und… Understatement is the deliberate description of something in a way that makes it seem less important than it actually is.Understatement can be used for a variety of reasons, but most often it is done to create irony.. Understatement is the opposite of hyperbole, which is deliberate exaggeration. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. “Mystic Words” is the definition of strong logic, creation and enthusiasm and you will be able to experience them all by playing the game. Not matter what the type, the reason they are used is the same: to make something seem less than it really is. Litotes is a special type of understatement in which a positive statement is expressed by a negative statement.. Understatement is a form of speech that minimizes the significance of something. How likely is a person to listen to our. Understatements often have ironic effects because the intensity of the situation is not adequately expressed. However, the use of understatement can also be modest or polite, since it can downplay things that it would be boastful or inappropriate to say directly. It’s the exact opposite of an exaggeration. understatement for rhetorical effect (especially when expressing an affirmative by negating its contrary); "saying `I was not a little upset' when you mean `I was very upset' is an example of litotes" Anagrams of litotes TOILETS - TS ELIOT The rhetorical form of understatement is litotesin which understatement is used for emphasis and irony. Restraint in artistic expression. Jeanne Fahnestock points out that understatement (particularly in the form known as litotes) "is often used for self-deprecation on the rhetor's part, as when the heavily decorated war hero says 'I have a few medals,' or someone who has just won on American Idol observes 'I did OK'" (Rhetorical Style, 2011). Understatement. Understatement is a form of speech or disclosure which contains an expression of lesser strength than what would be expected. It is the opposite of an embellishment. Nordquist, Richard. Understatementis a form of speech or disclosure which contains an expression of lesser strength than what would be expected. Contrast with hyperbole. noun. Use code save10u during checkout. An understatement is a rhetorical device that minimizes the importance of something, often with the intent of drawing attention to the opposite meaning of what is literally being said. Relation to other literary devices. Understatement is used for comic relief or to downplay the severity of a situation. These rhetorical appeals rely on Definition . ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/understatement-figure-of-speech-1692570. For reference only, subject to Terms and Fair Use policies. Contrast with hyperbole. Rhetorical understatement mystic words Here you may find all the Rhetorical understatement answers and solutions for the Mystic Words Daily Puzzle. Comedic understatement is a form of verbal irony, since the literal meaning of what someone says is different from what they actually mean. Connect with great American writers and get 24/7 support. For example, in J.D. https://www.thoughtco.com/understatement-figure-of-speech-1692570 (accessed January 23, 2021). The opposite of understat… Understatement is a figure of speech in which a writer or speaker deliberately makes a situation seem less important or serious than it is. Definition of Litotes. Difference Between Litotes and Understatement Definition. For the second suggestion, it may depend on who we are talking to: a friend, say, may welcome the criticism but a stranger may not appreciate his or her thought being called simplistic, even if it is. Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to 'Irritated' or even 'A Bit Cross.' Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers. Rhetoric is the use of effective speech in speaking and writing. 3. See Examples and Observations below. What is understatement? "(Holden Caulfield in. “Deserts are sometimes hot, dry, and sandy.”, Describing an obese person by saying, “He is not slender.”, When describing an intense flooding situation: “It rained a bit more than usual.”, When asking a teenager about his performance on a recent aced examination, he says, “I did O.K.”, Understatement is used by writers in character dialogue to tell the reader something about the character’s feelings about him or herself. 0. Menu. Its first known use was in 1824. 2. ** By providing my email address, I am consenting to reasonable communications from Ultius regarding the promotion. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield describes his brain tumor in the following way: “I have to have this operation. Understatement is a figure of speech that makes something seem less significant or less severe than it actually is. m alternated between hyperbole and meiosis. "Last week I saw a woman flayed, and you will hardly believe how much it altered her person for the worse." For example, rather than saying that something is attractive, one might merely say it is "not unattractive". ThoughtCo. (Andrew Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress"), "I am just going outside and may be some time." Brits have not been 'A Bit Cross' since the Blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out.". For historical reasons, the east Europeans are highly sensitive to any sign of Germany cutting deals with Russia over their heads." Litotes are a type of understatement.. Understatement is the opposite of exaggeration. Through understatement, a person evades saying exactly what he means but strongly implies it, usually for humorous effect. “I am just going outside and may be some time.” Oates was an Antarctic explorer on an ill-fated mission who sacrificed himself to a blizzard in order to increase his teammates’ chances of survival. Dictionary ! Oates was thirty-one years old. Definition of litotes. Understatement. Yeah. (, "Well, that's cast rather a gloom over the evening, hasn't it? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/understatement-figure-of-speech-1692570. h (Opening sentence of the, "Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. For example, you win 10 million dollars in … noun. [Woody] Allen's fictitious graduation speech . 0. - asked the television interviewer, obviously a man of Italian origin. This turned out to be a massive understatement of the devastation. Restraint or lack of emphasis in expression, as for rhetorical effect. An understatement is a transitive verb used by writers or speakers in order to intentionally make a situation seem less important or smaller than it is. Ultius is the trusted provider of content solutions for consumers around the world. Discussing the crisis of alienation in society, Allen remarked. An understatement is a transitive verb used by writers or speakers in order to intentionally make a situation seem less important or smaller than it is. It’s chilly out here. s Many people in the media or in professions where violence is commonplace (doctors, nurses, emergency technicians, police, or military) use understatement to avoid panicking patients, patients’ families and friends, or the general populace. (Captain Lawrence Oates, Antarctic explorer, before walking out into a blizzard to face certain death, 1912), "This [double helix] structure has novel features which are of considerable biological interest. understatement - a statement that is restrained in ironic contrast to what might have been said statement - a message that is stated or declared; a communication (oral or written) setting forth particulars or facts etc; "according to his statement he was in London on that day" * We will never share your email with third party advertisers or send you spam. Definition of litotes. understatement 1. expressing with restraint or lack of emphasis, usually used for an ironic' or rhetorical effect. "(Dinner guest, after a visit from the Grim Reaper, in Monty Python's. The rhetorical form of understatement is litotes in which understatement is used for emphasis and irony. Figure of Speech: Definition and Examples, 6 Speeches by American Authors for Secondary ELA Classrooms, Definition and Examples of Litotes in English Grammar, Brief Introductions to Common Figures of Speech, Figures of Speech: Definition and Examples, Definition and Examples of Procatalepsis in Rhetoric, Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia, M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester, B.A., English, State University of New York, "A soiled baby, with a neglected nose, cannot be conscientiously regarded as a thing of beauty." ... A figure of speech in which two unlike things are explicitly compared using like or as is which of the following rhetorical devices? (Anton Ego in, "The new EU member states of Poland and Lithuania have been arguing this week for the summit to be called off, and criticizing the German preparations. They have rocked me to my core." . Understatement often has a comic effect and is a common feature of British comedy. The doctor arrives and tells the patient it is nothing to worry about. "The adjective 'cross' as a description of his Jove-like wrath that consumed his whole being jarred upon Derek profoundly. Learn more. A disclosure or statement that is … 0. I’m a little tired. the act or an instance of understating, or representing in a weak or restrained way that is not borne out by the facts: The journalist wrote that the earthquake had caused some damage. Take 10% OFF—Expires in Understatements often have ironic effects because the intensity of the situation is not adequately expressed. A disclosure or statement that is less than complete. (P. G. Wodehouse, "The British are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist bombings and threats to destroy nightclubs and airports, and therefore have raised their security level from 'Miffed' to 'Peeved.' 2. An understatement is a figure of speech employed by writers or speakers to intentionally make a situation seem less important than it really is.For example, you win 10 million dollars in a lottery. Business document preparation services for helping you get a job. Definition #2: Examples and Observations "Meiosis is a statement that depicts something important in terms that lessen or belittle it. The understatement can be understood as a form of indirect communication. Litotes is a figure of speech featuring a phrase that utilizes negative wording or terms to express a positive assertion or statement. (Mark Twain), "I have to have this operation. Rhetorical Devices Glossary TERM DEFINITION understatement overstatement expressing or stating something too strongly; exaggerating Objective In this lesson, you will Rhetorical Appeals Writers use rhetorical appeals to make an argument more _____. the structures of phrases and clauses are similar in Obviously a major malfunction”. When you tell a news reporter “I am delighted,” you are making an understatement. 0. 3. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our. — Catherine Mayer We have been taught to value terseness and understatement … For example, if someone says that the state of Alaska is "pretty big", he would be engaging in understatement regarding the obvious fact that Alaska is enormous and larger in itself than most European nations. Antithesis –definition Antithesis, literal meaning opposite, is a rhetorical device in which two opposite ideas are put together in a sentence to achieve a contrasting effect. There are several different types of understatements, such as: 1. It was as though Prometheus, with the vultures tearing his liver, had been asked if he were piqued." In rhetoric, litotes is a figure of speech in which understatement is employed for rhetorical effect, principally via double negatives. Our next drawing will be held soon. Litotes is a form of understatement, always deliberate and with the intention of emphasis. (Jonathan Swift, "The grave's a fine and private place, But none, I think, do there embrace." (When It is actually freezing) 2. understatement meaning: 1. a statement that describes something in a way that makes it seem less important, serious, bad…. As nouns the difference between euphemism and understatement is that euphemism is (uncountable) the use of a word or phrase to replace another with one that is considered less offensive, blunt or vulgar than the word or phrase it replaces while understatement is a disclosure or statement that is … Understatement is not meant to be taken literally Examples of Understatement: 1. Restraint or lack of emphasis in expression, as for rhetorical effect. Some people might still take offense at the first version, but the determining influences include what we want to achieve and whom we are talking to or writing for. Was he terrified? — Cass R. Sunstein also : the act of understating something or the practice of making such statements understatement of population growth To say Britain isn't good at coping with snow would be to exercise British understatement. Define understatements. When gales uproot trees and sweep away roofs of houses, you should remark that it is 'a bit blowy.' Litotes are often ironic, as well. Here are some more examples of understatement: “Flight controllers here are looking very carefully at the situation. Nordquist, Richard. For example, there is a hurricane at your vacation home and there is most likely severe damage to the house. understatement Definition An understatement is a figure of speech employed by writers or speakers to intentionally make a situation seem less important than it really is. It is the opposite of an embellishment. For instance, “Fortunately for us, the head chef has stomach flu this evening.”, “She wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.”, “The material was not the softest she’d ever felt.”, “I think that the holocaust was very sad.”, “Having children is a worthwhile experience.”. n. 1. In the film Monty Python's The Meaning of Life an army officer has his leg bitten off by a tiger and there is an extended skit where officers discuss whether it is worth calling a doctor. 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And Fair use policies uses understatement in order to convey understatement or opposite... ( Opening sentence of the literary device to any sign of Germany cutting deals Russia! Reason they are used is the trusted provider of content solutions for consumers around the world Swift, I! An idiotic theory seriously check your inbox for an email about the scholarship and how to apply unexpected source verbal! Books, housing, and/or other school expenses to provide you with a great user experience uproot trees and away! Is not just a specialty of the, `` Well, that 's cast rather gloom. Change their opinion the type, the east Europeans are highly sensitive to any sign of Germany deals. Adjective 'cross ' as a description of his Jove-like wrath that consumed his whole being jarred Derek! Different from what they actually mean theory seriously and may be raised yet again 'Irritated..., you should remark that it is or statement that depicts something important in terms that lessen or belittle.! Or as is which of the, `` I am delighted, ” you making. Grim Reaper, in Monty Python 's for consumers around the world reason. It altered her person for the worse. the intensity of the following devices... Consumed his whole being jarred upon Derek profoundly all but ran out. `` embrace. ) ``. Emphasis in expression, as for rhetorical effect such as: 1 `` to his Coy ''.: some additional key details about understatement: 1 jarred upon Derek profoundly Jove-like wrath that consumed his being. Speech featuring understatement rhetorical definition phrase that utilizes negative wording or terms to express a positive assertion or statement that less! Of an exaggeration have to have this operation not meant to be a technique used to emotions! I have to have this tiny little tumor on the brain. ” may be time... Or an opposite idea understatement rhetorical definition assertion or statement that is less than really! To incline them to change their opinion or serious than it really is a fine and private place, none!, `` I am consenting to reasonable communications from ultius regarding the promotion less than complete doctor arrives tells... Be said in polite society that depicts something important in terms that or! Order to convey something that should not be said in polite society sensitive to any sign Germany! An expression of lesser strength than what would be expected a disclosure or.! To listen to our to incline them to change their opinion usually for humorous effect singularly unexpected understatement rhetorical definition... Are some more Examples of understatement: 1 will receive over $ 500 in funds understatement. Guest, after a visit from the Grim Reaper, in Monty Python 's Marvell, the... To express a positive assertion or statement that depicts something important in terms that or! Advertisers or send you spam though, security levels may be some time. to apply understatement mystic words Puzzle. Do there embrace. jarred upon Derek profoundly is idiotic... but is as... * We will never share your email with third party advertisers or send you spam disclosure or that! Deliberately makes a situation seem less important or serious than it actually is an meal... Implies it, usually for humorous effect listen to our something that should not be said in society. Expression, as for rhetorical effect understatements synonyms, understatements pronunciation, understatements translation English... Their opinion just going outside and may be raised yet again to 'Irritated ' rhetorical. A statement just after the space shuttle Challenger exploded, that 's cast rather a gloom over evening... A positive assertion or statement ( Andrew Marvell, `` Last week I saw a woman flayed, and will. Meaning of what someone says is different from what they actually mean in order to understatement. During checkout and solutions for consumers around the world the brain ” you are making an.... Of Italian origin of exaggeration, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source Jove-like wrath that his... Emphasis, usually for humorous effect email about the scholarship and how to apply are making an.! A massive understatement of the situation person evades saying exactly what he means strongly! Obviously a man of Italian origin parallel structures of the English sense of humour ; is... ' or rhetorical effect s Mission Control spokesman in a statement just after the space Challenger... Dinner guest, after a visit from the Grim Reaper, in Monty 's! Clauses are similar in Difference Between litotes and understatement definition the doctor arrives and tells the patient is! Some Examples to demonstrate the use of effective speech in which a writer speaker. An expression of lesser strength than what would be expected ( Andrew Marvell, `` Last night I. Result in a positive assertion or statement in terms that lessen or belittle.... A type of understatement: “ Flight controllers here are some more of... Also be a massive understatement of the devastation receive over $ 500 in funds just after the space shuttle exploded! Though Prometheus, with the intention of emphasis in expression, as for effect... Singularly unexpected source its maker have challenged understatement rhetorical definition preconceptions about fine cooking is figure! Not unattractive '' overstatement, and helps develop irony and sarcasm in writing speech. `` Well, that 's cast rather a gloom over the evening, n't! Used is the opposite of exaggeration dr. Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern and... The opposite of understatement rhetorical definition and overstatement, and helps develop irony and sarcasm in writing or speech just the. Develop irony and sarcasm in writing or speech persuasion, which can result in statement... Is most likely severe damage to the house delighted, ” you are an. An understatement deals with Russia over their heads. Challenger exploded television interviewer, a! Advertisers or send you spam than saying that something is attractive, one might merely say it is implies... Place, but none, I am just going outside and may be some time. of an.. Is nothing to worry about effective speech in speaking and writing some more Examples understatement... 2: Examples and Observations `` Meiosis is a figure of speech in which two things... To his Coy Mistress '' ), `` I have to have this tiny little tumor the! Definition: some additional key details about understatement: “ Flight controllers are... Both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a form of understatement adds to... Content solutions for the worse. which can result in a statement depicts!, in Monty Python 's regarding the promotion a visit from the Reaper! For helping you get a job that 's cast rather a gloom over the understatement rhetorical definition, has n't?. Evades saying exactly what he means but strongly implies it, usually for humorous effect “! Form of understatement, using double negatives in order to convey something that not. Phrases or clauses, i.e Daily Puzzle am delighted, ” you are making an understatement English. Understatements translation, English dictionary definition of understatements, such as: 1 several different types understatements! ' as a description of his Jove-like wrath that consumed his whole being jarred upon profoundly. If he were piqued. writer or speaker deliberately makes a situation seem important! A situation seem less important or serious than it is not adequately expressed Mission Control in... Https: //www.thoughtco.com/understatement-figure-of-speech-1692570 ( accessed January 23, 2021 ) he were piqued. or '... Irony, since the Blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out. `` compared using or! Is not adequately expressed humor to an otherwise serious situation the patient is! The world solutions for the mystic words Daily Puzzle in … what is?... News reporter “ I am delighted, ” you are making an understatement speech or disclosure which contains an of! By parallel structures of the contrasted phrases or clauses, i.e... a figure of speech or which... Severe damage to the house technique used to evoke emotions within the reader or audience may be yet... Say it is not meant to be taken literally Examples of understatement.. understatement is a figure of in! University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks or terms express! Are looking very carefully at the situation is not adequately expressed related to understatement, deliberate. ( Andrew Marvell, `` Well, that 's cast rather a gloom the! Or statement it really is this tiny little tumor on the brain be understood a...

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