The rare occurrence of a counterexample to a rule, used to underscore that the rule exists

Etymology:

  • It is derived from the medieval Latin legal principle: exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis.
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Submitted on July 07, 2010

Additional definitions for 'exception that proves the rule':

exception that proves the ruleA form of argument in which the existence of a counterexample to a rule is used to demonstrate the fact that a rule exists.
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    "exception that proves the rule." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Jun 2024. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/exception-that-proves-the-rule_12204>.

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