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euphuism

[yoo-fyoo-iz-uh m]
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noun
  1. an affected style in imitation of that of Lyly, fashionable in England about the end of the 16th century, characterized chiefly by long series of antitheses and frequent similes relating to mythological natural history, and alliteration.Compare Euphues.
  2. any similar ornate style of writing or speaking; high-flown, periphrastic language.

Origin of euphuism

First recorded in 1590–1600; Euphu(es) + -ism
Related formseu·phu·ist, nouneu·phu·is·tic, eu·phu·is·ti·cal, adjectiveeu·phu·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb
Can be confusedeuphemism euphuism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for euphuism

Historical Examples

  • The cry of art for art's sake is raised, and the result is extravagance, euphuism.

    John Lyly

    John Dover Wilson

  • With these general remarks we must leave the subject of euphuism.

    John Lyly

    John Dover Wilson

  • With euphuism, antithesis and the use of balanced sentences came to stay.

    John Lyly

    John Dover Wilson

  • And so, though we cannot say that euphuism is verse, we can say that it partakes of the nature of verse.

    John Lyly

    John Dover Wilson

  • The euphuism of the foregoing quotation will be readily detected.

    John Lyly

    John Dover Wilson


British Dictionary definitions for euphuism

euphuism

noun
  1. an artificial prose style of the Elizabethan period, marked by extreme use of antithesis, alliteration, and extended similes and allusions
  2. any stylish affectation in speech or writing, esp a rhetorical device or expression
Derived Formseuphuist, nouneuphuistic or euphuistical, adjectiveeuphuistically, adverb

Word Origin

C16: after Euphues, prose romance by John Lyly
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