Fallacy
Fallacy Fal"la*cy (f[a^]l"l[.a]*s[y^]), n.; pl. {Fallacies} (f[a^]l"l[.a]*s[i^]z). [OE. fallace, fallas, deception, F. fallace, fr. L. fallacia, fr. fallax deceitful, deceptive, fr. fallere to deceive. See {Fail}.] 1. Deceptive or false appearance; deceitfulness; that which misleads the eye or the mind; deception. [1913 Webster]

Winning by conquest what the first man lost, By fallacy surprised. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

2. (Logic) An argument, or apparent argument, which professes to be decisive of the matter at issue, while in reality it is not; a sophism.

Syn: Deception; deceit; mistake.

Usage: {Fallacy}, {Sophistry}. A fallacy is an argument which professes to be decisive, but in reality is not; sophistry is also false reasoning, but of so specious and subtle a kind as to render it difficult to expose its fallacy. Many fallacies are obvious, but the evil of sophistry lies in its consummate art. ``Men are apt to suffer their minds to be misled by fallacies which gratify their passions. Many persons have obscured and confounded the nature of things by their wretched sophistry; though an act be never so sinful, they will strip it of its guilt.'' --South. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • fallacy — fallacy, sophism, sophistry, casuistry are comparable when meaning unsound and misleading reasoning or line of argument. The same distinctions in implications and connotations are distinguishable in the corresponding adjectives fallacious,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • fallacy — [fal′ə sē] n. pl. fallacies [ME fallace < OFr < L fallacia, deception, artifice < fallax (gen. fallacis), deceitful < fallere, to deceive: see FAIL] 1. Obs. deception 2. aptness to mislead; deceptive or delusive quality [the fallacy… …   English World dictionary

  • fallacy — I noun captio, deception, deceptive belief, delusion, deviation from truth, distortion, erroneous reasoning, erroneousness, error, fallacious argument, false appearance, falseness, falsity, faultiness, faulty reasoning, flaw in reasoning,… …   Law dictionary

  • fallacy — late 15c., deception, false statement, from L. fallacia deception, noun of quality from fallax (gen. fallacis) deceptive, from fallere deceive (see FAIL (Cf. fail)). Specific sense in logic dates from 1550s. An earlier form was fallace (c.1300),… …   Etymology dictionary

  • fallacy — [n] illusion, misconception aberration, ambiguity, artifice, bias, casuistry, cavil, deceit, deception, deceptiveness, delusion, deviation, elusion, equivocation, erratum, erroneousness, error, evasion, falsehood, faultiness, flaw, heresy,… …   New thesaurus

  • fallacy — ► NOUN (pl. fallacies) 1) a mistaken belief. 2) a failure in reasoning which makes an argument invalid. DERIVATIVES fallacious adjective. ORIGIN Latin fallacia, from fallere deceive …   English terms dictionary

  • Fallacy — In logic and rhetoric, a fallacy is usually incorrect argumentation in reasoning resulting in a misconception or presumption. By accident or design, fallacies may exploit emotional triggers in the listener or interlocutor (appeal to emotion), or… …   Wikipedia

  • fallacy — /fal euh see/, n., pl. fallacies. 1. a deceptive, misleading, or false notion, belief, etc.: That the world is flat was at one time a popular fallacy. 2. a misleading or unsound argument. 3. deceptive, misleading, or false nature; erroneousness.… …   Universalium

  • fallacy — n. 1) a fallacy to + int. (it s a fallacy to assume that he will help) 2) a fallacy that (it s a fallacy that all politicians are corrupt) * * * [ fæləsɪ] a fallacy that (it s a fallacy) that all politicians are corrupt a fallacy to + inf. (it s… …   Combinatory dictionary

  • fallacy — Synonyms and related words: Albigensianism, Arianism, Catharism, Ebionitism, Erastianism, Gnosticism, Jovinianism, Lollardy, Manichaeanism, Manichaeism, Monophysism, Monophysitism, Pelagianism, Waldensianism, Wyclifism, aberrancy, aberration,… …   Moby Thesaurus

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