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[dih-kleym] /dɪˈkleɪm/
verb (used without object)
to speak aloud in an oratorical manner; make a formal speech:
Brutus declaimed from the steps of the Roman senate building.
to inveigh (usually followed by against):
He declaimed against the high rents in slums.
to speak or write for oratorical effect, as without sincerity or sound argument.
verb (used with object)
to utter aloud in an oratorical manner:
to declaim a speech.
Origin of declaim
1350-1400; Middle English declamen < Latin dēclāmāre, equivalent to dē- de- + clāmāre to cry, shout; see claim
Related forms
declaimer, noun
undeclaimed, adjective
undeclaiming, adjective
Can be confused
declaim, disclaim. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for declaim


to make (a speech, statement, etc) loudly and in a rhetorical manner
to speak lines from (a play, poem, etc) with studied eloquence; recite
(intransitive) foll by against. to protest (against) loudly and publicly
Derived Forms
declaimer, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin dēclāmāre, from clāmāre to call out
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for declaim

late 14c., from Middle French déclamer and directly from Latin declamare "to practice public speaking, to bluster," from de- intensive prefix + clamare "to cry, shout" (see claim (v.)). At first in English spelled declame, but altered under influence of claim. Related: Declaimed; declaiming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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