A syllogism is a type of logical reasoning where the conclusion is gotten from two linked premises. Here’s an example: An apple is a fruit. All fruit is good. Therefore apples are good.

Used properly, syllogism can be a good way of reasoning, but it’s very easy to make sloppy syllogisms by messing up the middle term that links the premises together, as in: "President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was an Aquarius. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was great. Therefore all Aquariuses are great." Because so many are made poorly, the syllogism has a bad reputation. Poor, misleading, or tricky reasoning is often called “mere syllogism.”

Definitions of syllogism

n deductive reasoning in which a conclusion is derived from two premises

Type of:
deduction, deductive reasoning, synthesis
reasoning from the general to the particular (or from cause to effect)

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.