dormitive virtue

(redirected from a dormitive virtue)

dormitive virtue

The repetition of a thought or idea in a more abstract way or in more complex language that does not actually provide an explanation. The idea comes from Molière's The Imaginary Invalid, in which a doctor explains that opium makes people sleepy because it has a "dormitive virtue." (The word "dormitive" describes things capable of inducing sleep.) A: "Why am I dealing with farsightedness all of a sudden?" B: "Because you have hyperopia." A: "Come on, Doc. Don't use a dormitive virtue to try to 'explain' something without really saying anything at all."
See also: dormitive, virtue
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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