[syn: litotes, meiosis]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Meiosis \Mei*o"sis\ (m[-i]*[=o]"s[i^]s), n. [NL., fr. Gr.
mei`wsis, fr. meioy^n to make smaller, from mei`wn. See
1. (Rhet.) Diminution; a species of hyperbole, representing a
thing as being less than it really is; understatement; see
[1913 Webster +PJC]
2. (Cell Biology) The cellular process by which a diploid
progenitor cell forms haploid gametes, including a
division of one diploid cell into two cells, each with one
of the homologous sets of chromosomes.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: (genetics) cell division that produces reproductive cells
in sexually reproducing organisms; the nucleus divides into
four nuclei each containing half the chromosome number
(leading to gametes in animals and spores in plants) [syn:
meiosis, miosis, reduction division]
2: understatement for rhetorical effect (especially when
expressing an affirmative by negating its contrary); "saying
`I was not a little upset' when you mean `I was very upset'
is an example of litotes" [syn: litotes, meiosis]