li·to·tes / ˈlītəˌtēz; ˈlit-; līˈtōtēz/ • n. Rhetoric ironical understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by the negative of its contrary (e.g., you won't be sorry, meaning you'll be glad).
litotes ironical understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by the negative of its contrary (e.g. I shan't be sorry for I shall be glad). Recorded from the late 16th century, the word comes via late Latin from Greek, ultimately from litos ‘plain, meagre’.
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