From LL. #Latin|erotesis, from AGr. polytonic|á¼ÏÏÏÎ·ÏÎ¹Ï, from polytonic|á¼ÏÏÏÎ±Î½ âto questionâ.
- rhetoric A figure of speech whereby a question is asked in confident expectation of a negative answer.
#*1759, Laurence Sterne, The Life & Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, Penguin 2003, p. 50:
#*:he would sometimes break off in a sudden and spirited E<span style"font-variant:small-caps;text-transform:lowercase">PIPHONEMA</span>, or rather E<span style"font-variant:small-caps;text-transform:lowercase">ROTESIS</span>, [...] and demand it categorically of his antagonist, Whether he would take it upon him to say, had he ever remember'd,-----whether he had ever read,---or even whether he had ever heard tell of a man, call'd Tristram, performing any thing great or worth recording?