fallacy

A fallacy is a misleading argument or belief based on a falsehood. If you oppose state testing in schools, you think it is a fallacy that educational quality can be measured by standardized tests.

Fallacy comes from the Latin fallacia, for deceit. It technically means a flaw in an argument that makes it deceptive or misleading. In poetry, the "pathetic fallacy" is the false idea that things like rocks or stars have human feelings (pathos). Fallacy can also be used more generally for any false statement or idea. Some synonyms are misconception and error.

Definitions of fallacy
  1. noun
    a misconception resulting from incorrect reasoning
    synonyms: false belief
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    types:
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    pseudoscience
    an activity resembling science but based on fallacious assumptions
    logical fallacy
    a fallacy in logical argumentation
    pathetic fallacy
    the fallacy of attributing human feelings to inanimate objects; `the friendly sun' is an example of the pathetic fallacy
    sophism, sophistication, sophistry
    a deliberately invalid argument displaying ingenuity in reasoning in the hope of deceiving someone
    paralogism
    an unintentionally invalid argument
    astrology, star divination
    a pseudoscience claiming divination by the positions of the planets and sun and moon
    alchemy
    a pseudoscientific forerunner of chemistry in medieval times
    hysteron proteron
    the logical fallacy of using as a true premise a proposition that is yet to be proved
    ignoratio elenchi
    the logical fallacy of supposing that an argument proving an irrelevant point has proved the point at issue
    petitio, petitio principii
    the logical fallacy of assuming the conclusion in the premises; begging the question
    post hoc, post hoc ergo propter hoc
    the logical fallacy of believing that temporal succession implies a causal relation
    type of:
    misconception
    an incorrect conception
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