Loaded question, also known as complex question, presupposition, "trick question", or plurium interrogationum (Latin, "of many questions"), is an informal fallacy or logical fallacy. It is committed when someone asks a question that presupposes something that has not been proven or accepted by all the people involved. This fallacy is often used rhetorically, so that the question limits direct replies to those that serve the questioner's agenda. An example of this is the question "Are you still beating your wife?" Whether the respondent answers yes or no, he will admit to having a wife, and having beaten her at some time in the past. Thus, these facts are presupposed by the question, and in this case an entrapment, because it narrows the respondent to a single answer, and the fallacy of many questions has been committed.
The fallacy relies upon context for its effect: the fact that a question presupposes something does not in itself make the question fallacious. Only when some of these presuppositions are not necessarily agreed to by the person who is asked the question does the argument containing them become fallacious.
This fallacy is often confused with begging the question, which offers a premise no more plausible than, and often just a restatement of, the conclusion.
Legitimately complex question
Illegitimately complex question