Figure Name correctio
Source Silva Rhetoricae (; Garrett Epp (1994) ("correctio," "epanorthosis"); Ad Herennium 4.26.36; Melanch. d3v ("correctio""epanorthosis" "metanoia"); Peacham (1577) K2v; Vinsauf (1967) ("correctio"); Peacham 1593; Blount (1653) 25
Earliest Source None
Etymology L. “correction, amendment”
Type Chroma
Linguistic Domain Semantic

1. The amending of a term or phrase just employed; or, a further specifying of meaning, especially by indicating what something is not (which may occur either before or after the term or phrase used). A kind of redefinition, often employed as a parenthesis (an interruption) or as a climax. (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. Retraction of what has just been said, and substitution of a more suitable word. (Garrett Epp)

3. If a mode of expression both easy and adorned is desired, set aside all the techniques of the dignified style and have recourse to means that are simple, but of a simplicity that does not shock the ear by its rudeness. Here are the rhetorical colours with which to adorn your style: (Vinsauf)

4. Correctio, is a figure which taketh away that that is said, and putteth a more meet word in the place, whereof there be two kindes, the one is when a word is corrected before it is said. (Peacham)

5. "having used a word of sufficient force, yet pretending in greater strength of meaning, refuses it, and supplyes the place with one of more extension" (Blount)


1. Hamlet employs correctio when he expresses his unhappiness at the marriage of his mother and uncle so soon after his father's death:
That it should come [to this]!
But two months dead, nay, not so much, not two.
—Shakespeare, Hamlet 1.2.137-38 (Silva Rhetoricae)

1. I desire not your love, but your submissive obedience. (Silva Rhetoricae)

1. In his speech to the Democratic Convention in 2008, Vice Presidential nominee Joe Biden followed his characterization of voters’ economic concerns with the following:
"You know, folks, that’s the America that George Bush has left us. And that’s the America we’ll continue to get if George – excuse me, if John McCain is elected president of the United States of America. Freudian slip. Freudian slip." (

2. Thou let'st thy fortune sleep - die, rather.... (Tempest 2.1 qtd. in Garrett Epp)

3. Here is his reasoning: if open violence were offered the foe, God could be - nay, would be - not acting in accord with strict justice in this. (Vinsauf)

4. An example of Cicero in his 7. action against Verres: We have here brought before you Judges, to have your judgement, not a theefe, but a violent robber, not an adulterer, but a breaker of all chastitie, not a spoiler of church goods, but a ranke enemie to al godly religion, not a quarelling ruffin, but a most cruell murderer. (Peacham)

4. An example of the holy Scripture: “You declare that you are ye epistie of Christ ministred by us, and written not with inke, but wit the sprite of the living God, not in table of stone, but in the fleshly table of the heart.” 2. Cor. 3.3. (Peacham)

5. "I persuade you not to let slip occasion, whilst it may not onely be taken. But offers, nay sues to be taken." (Blount)

Kind Of Repetition
Part Of
Related Figures restrictio, aporia, anapodoton, figures of amplification, figures of interruption, figures of definition
Notes I added the 2nd example on SR. Also, the 3rd example is not from SR, but it was there when I started editing this figure so I just numbered it as 1. -nayoung
Confidence Unconfident
Last Editor Mark Carter
Confidence Unconfident
Editorial Notes
Reviewed No