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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.
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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 euphuistic

Historical Examples

  • It might just as well be said that Shakespeare's lords and ladies were not euphuistic enough.

    Suspended Judgments

    John Cowper Powys

  • Men of letters admired the euphuistic phrases and despised their author.

    Darkness and Dawn

    Frederic W. Farrar

  • Find examples of Euphuistic hyperbole in iv, of alliteration in xiv.

  • But his language has certainly the merit of doing more justice to his subject than that of his euphuistic predecessors.

    Thomas Otway

    Thomas Otway

  • She was the social leader of Morningside Park, and in her superficial and euphuistic way an extremely kind and pleasant woman.

    Ann Veronica

    H. G. Wells


British Dictionary definitions for euphuistic

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
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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