Accismus

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Accismus'

Accismus Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Accismus \Ac*cis"mus\, n. [NL., fr. Gr. ?.] (Rhet.) Affected refusal; coyness.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Accismus'


Accismus is a form of irony wherein a person pretends not to want an object they truly desire. One of many figures of refutation , which is itself a figure of speech. In one version of Aesop's fable regarding the fox and the grapes, the fox pretends she did not want the grapes she had been trying to reach after she is unable to reach them. A more common example might be refusing the last helping of dessert, claiming "I couldn't possibly" when that is definitely not the case.

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