From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


1. The act of demonstrating; an exhibition; proof; especially, proof beyond the possibility of doubt; indubitable evidence, to the senses or reason. Those intervening ideas which serve to show the agreement of any two others are called proofs; and where agreement or disagreement is by this means plainly and clearly perceived, it is called demonstration. (Locke)

2. An expression, as of the feelings, by outward signs; a manifestation; a show. Did your letters pierce the queen to any demonstration of grief? (Shak) Loyal demonstrations toward the prince. (Prescott)

3. (Science: anatomy) The exhibition and explanation of a dissection or other anatomical preparation.

4. (Mil) a decisive exhibition of force, or a movement indicating an attack.

5. (Science: logic) The act of proving by the syllogistic process, or the proof itself.

6. (Science: mathematics) a course of reasoning showing that a certain result is a necessary consequence of assumed premises; these premises being definitions, axioms, and previously established propositions.

(Science: logic) direct, or positive, demonstration, one in which the correct conclusion is the immediate sequence of reasoning from axiomatic or established premises; opposed to indirect, or negative, demonstration (called also reductio ad absurdum), in which the correct conclusion is an inference from the demonstration that any other hypothesis must be i 3c8 ncorrect.

Origin: L. Demonstratio: cf. F. Demonstration.