dormitive virtue

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A type of tautology in which an item is being explained in terms of the item itself, only put in different (usually more abstract) words.

Etymology:

  • A calque translation of Latin, virtus dormitiva, coined by Molière in The Imaginary Invalid. In the play, he lampoons a group of physicians providing an explanation in macaronic Latin of the sleep-inducing properties of opium as stemming from its "virtus dormitiva".
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Submitted on July 07, 2010

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Nearby phrases

Some more phrases from our dictionary similar to dormitive virtue

How to pronounce this phrase?

  1. Alex
    Alex
    US English
    Daniel
    Daniel
    British
    Karen
    Karen
    Australian
    Veena
    Veena
    Indian

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"dormitive virtue." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 5 Jul 2020. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/dormitive-virtue_12031>.

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