preterition

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n preterition suggesting by deliberately concise treatment that much of significance is omitted
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Preterition (Rhet) A figure by which, in pretending to pass over anything, a summary mention of it is made; as, “I will not say, he is valiant, he is learned, he is just.” Called also paraleipsis.
    • Preterition The act of passing, or going past; the state of being past.
    • Preterition (Law) The omission by a testator of some one of his heirs who is entitled to a portion.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n preterition The act of passing over or by, or the state of being passed over or by.
    • n preterition Specifically In Calvinistic theology, the doctrine that God, having elected to everlasting life such as should be saved, passed over the others.
    • n preterition In rhetoric, a figure by which a speaker, in pretending to pass over anything, makes a summary mention of it: as, “I will not say he is valiant, he is learned, he is just.” Also pretermission.
    • n preterition In law, the passing over by a testator of one of his heirs otherwise entitled to a portion.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Preterition the act of passing over: the doctrine that God passes over the non-elect in electing to eternal life those predestinated to salvation
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. praeteritio,: cf. F. prétérition,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. præterituspræter, beyond, īre, ītum, to go.

Usage

In literature:

In life, as in (that for him more truly actual thing) literature, it was always the preterit that enthralled him.
"And Even Now" by Max Beerbohm
How can one tell the story of the finish in cold-blooded preterites?
"A Mortal Antipathy" by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
The verb to bet forms its preterite regularly, as do wet, wed, knit, quit and others that are commonly misconjugated.
"Write It Right" by Ambrose Bierce
The preterits are more literary or formal in tone than the perfects.
"Language" by Edward Sapir
The passive voice is formed by joining the participle preterit to the substantive verb, as I am loved.
"A Grammar of the English Tongue" by Samuel Johnson
Can, iv, 46, an auxiliary verb with preterite meaning; ix, 5, can=gan, began (Halliwell).
"Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Book I" by Edmund Spenser
In this Latinism the preterit denotes that a thing or condition that once existed no longer exists.
"Modern Spanish Lyrics" by Various
These have strong preterites with a present meaning, from which new weak preterites have been formed.
"A Middle High German Primer" by Joseph Wright
The word is no participle at all; but a simple preterite.
"A Handbook of the English Language" by Robert Gordon Latham
In the second Conjugation, the same Particle do is prefixed to the Preterite through all the Moods and Voices, and to the Fut.
"Elements of Gaelic Grammar" by Alexander Stewart
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In poetry:

In the back chambers of the State
(Just preterition for his crimes)
We curse him to our busy sky
Who's busy in a hell a hundred times
"Elegy" by Allen Tate