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diction

[dik-shuh n]
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noun
  1. style of speaking or writing as dependent upon choice of words: good diction.
  2. the accent, inflection, intonation, and speech-sound quality manifested by an individual speaker, usually judged in terms of prevailing standards of acceptability; enunciation.
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Origin of diction

1400–50; late Middle English diccion < Late Latin dictiōn- (stem of dictiō) word, Latin: rhetorical delivery, equivalent to dict(us) said, spoken (past participle of dīcere) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsdic·tion·al, adjectivedic·tion·al·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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1. usage, language.

Synonym study

1. Diction, phraseology, wording refer to the means and the manner of expressing ideas. Diction usually implies a high level of usage; it refers chiefly to the choice of words, their arrangement, and the force, accuracy, and distinction with which they are used: The speaker was distinguished for his excellent diction; poetic diction. Phraseology refers more to the manner of combining the words into related groups, and especially to the peculiar or distinctive manner in which certain technical, scientific, and professional ideas are expressed: legal phraseology. Wording refers to the exact words or phraseology used to convey thought: the wording of a will.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dictions

Historical Examples

  • Let us see whether there are any contra- dictions in the Bible.

    The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Vol. 5 (of 12)

    Robert G. Ingersoll

  • This verb must be always placed at the end of the sentence, and answers to the English dictions “It is said” “They or people say”.

  • Civilization is a mixture of dictions and contradictions and none of us to-day is sure that we know just what it means.

  • The contra- 410 dictions and discrepancies are only apparent, and melt away before the light of faith.


British Dictionary definitions for dictions

diction

noun
  1. the choice and use of words in writing or speech
  2. the manner of uttering or enunciating words and sounds; elocution
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Word Origin

C15: from Latin dictiō a saying, mode of expression, from dīcere to speak, say
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for dictions

diction

n.

1540s, "a word;" 1580s, "expression of ideas in words," from Late Latin dictionem (nominative dictio) "a saying, expression, word," noun of action from dic-, past participle stem of Latin dicere "speak, tell, say" (source of French dire "to say"), related to dicare "proclaim, dedicate," from PIE root *deik- "to point out" (cf. Sanskrit dic- "point out, show," Greek deiknynai "to prove," Latin digitus "finger," Old High German zeigon, German zeigen "to show," Old English teon "to accuse," tæcan "to teach").

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dictions in Culture

diction

The choice of words. Diction is effective when words are appropriate to an audience. A man might refer to his car as his “wheels” in casual conversation with a friend, but if he were writing an essay for a group of economists, he would write, “People base their decision to buy an automobile on the following considerations,” not “People base their decision to buy wheels on the following considerations.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.