in rhetoric, "a denial of an intention to speak of something which nonetheless is hinted at," 1650s, from Late Latin apophasis, from Greek apophasis "denial, negation," from apophanai "to speak off," from apo "off, away from" (see apo-) + phanai "to speak," related to phēmē "voice" (from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say").
imaginary animal, coined 1876 by Lewis Carroll in "The Hunting of the Snark." In 1950s, name of a type of U.S. cruise missile, and in 1980s, of a type of sailboat. Meaning "caustic, opinionated, and critical rhetoric" is from c. 2002, probably from snarky and not directly related, if at all, to Lewis Carroll's use of snark.
in rhetoric, "comparison, metaphor," according to Century Dictionary, "especially a formal simile, as in poetry or poetic prose, taken from a present or imagined object or event: distinguished from a paradigm, or comparison with a real past event," 1580s, from Greek parabolē "comparison" (see parable).
in rhetoric, "imitation or reproduction of the words of another," especially in order to represent his character, 1540s, from Greek mimēsis "imitation, representation, representation by art," from mimeisthai "to mimic, represent, imitate, portray," in art, "to express by means of imitation," from mimos "mime" (see mime (n.)). In zoology, "mimicry," by 1845.
1520s in rhetoric (see below), from Late Latin dilemma, from Greek dilemma "double proposition," a technical term in rhetoric, from di- "two" (see di- (1)) + lemma "premise, anything received or taken," from root of lambanein "to take" (see lemma).
A form of argument in which it is shown that whoever maintains a certain proposition must accept one or other of two alternative conclusions, and that each of these involves the denial of the proposition in question. [Century Dictionary]
Loosely, "choice between two undesirable alternatives," from 1580s. It should be used only of situations where someone is forced to choose between two alternatives, both unfavorable to him (the alternatives are called the horns of a dilemma). But even logicians disagree on whether certain situations are dilemmas or mere syllogisms. Related: Dilemmatic.
also bull shit, "eloquent and insincere rhetoric," 1914, American English slang; see bull (n.1) + shit (n.), probably because it smells. But bull in the sense of "trivial or false statements" (1914), which usually is associated with this, might be a continuation of Middle English bull "false talk, fraud" (see bull (n.3)).
"the 'genius' of a people, characteristic spirit of a time and place," 1851 (Palgrave) from Greek ēthos "habitual character and disposition; moral character; habit, custom; an accustomed place," in plural, "manners," from suffixed form of PIE root *s(w)e- third person pronoun and reflexive (see idiom). An important concept in Aristotle (as in "Rhetoric" II xii-xiv).
in rhetoric, a kind of pun, but usually involving a name, a figure based on the likeness of a sound in two or more words or names, 1580s, abstract noun from Latinized form of Greek prosonomazein "to call by a (nick-)name," from pros "to, toward, before" (see pros-) + onoma "name" (from PIE root *no-men- "name").