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beg the question

In rhetoric, to beg the question is to make an argument that assumes the truth of its conclusion, rather than proving it. When you say, "My dog's the best dog because he's the greatest," you beg the question.

Begging the question is also known as "circular reasoning," because in order for your argument to be true, the conclusion has to be true. In informal, everyday use, beg the question means "to raise a fairly obvious but still unanswered question." If your neighbor got hit by lightning on the roof of their house, it would beg the question: what were they doing on the roof in a thunderstorm? Though it's best avoided in formal contexts, this usage is the more common one.

Definitions of beg the question
  1. verb
    assume that the argument one is trying to prove is true, without arguing for it
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    type of:
    assume, presume, take for granted
    take to be the case or to be true; accept without verification or proof
  2. verb
    dodge, avoid answering, or take for granted
    synonyms: beg
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    type of:
    circumvent, dodge, duck, elude, evade, fudge, hedge, parry, put off, sidestep, skirt
    avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing (duties, questions, or issues)
  3. verb
    elicit or call to mind a question, especially one that has not yet been addressed
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    type of:
    arouse, elicit, enkindle, evoke, fire, kindle, pique, provoke, raise
    call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses)
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