A litote is a figure of speech that involves the use of understatement to express an idea by denying its opposite. It is a rhetorical understatement that uses negation to convey an affirmative meaning.
For example, instead of saying “she’s beautiful,” a litote could say “she’s not unattractive.” Similarly, instead of saying, “he’s very intelligent,” a litote could say “he’s not stupid.” The idea is to downplay the extent of a quality or characteristic, while still conveying that it exists.
Litotes are often used to express modesty or humility, but they can also be used for irony or to make a point more subtly. They are a common feature of the English language and are often used in everyday conversation, literature, and other forms of writing.