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[el-uh-kyoo-shuh n]
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  1. a person's manner of speaking or reading aloud in public: The actor's elocution is faultless.
  2. the study and practice of oral delivery, including the control of both voice and gesture.
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Origin of elocution

1500–10; < Latin ēlocūtiōn- (stem of ēlocūtiō) a speaking out, equivalent to ē- e-1 + locūtiōn- locution
Related formsel·o·cu·tion·ar·y [el-uh-kyoo-shuh-ner-ee] /ˌɛl əˈkyu ʃəˌnɛr i/, adjectiveel·o·cu·tion·ist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

eloquent, rhetorical, stylistic

Examples from the Web for elocutionary

Historical Examples

  • His sermon was eloquent and literary, and it was delivered with elocutionary power.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • He had elocutionary gifts, had Mr. Allison, and flaunted them.

    The Sunset Trail

    Alfred Henry Lewis

  • Their elocutionary powers are shown on the stage as well as the platform.

  • Do not imagine for a moment that I advocate the neglect of elocutionary graces.

  • This elocutionary power was not gained without much care and diligent labor.

British Dictionary definitions for elocutionary


  1. the art of public speaking, esp of voice production, delivery, and gesture
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Derived Formselocutionary, adjectiveelocutionist, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Latin ēlocūtiō a speaking out, from ēloquī, from loquī to speak
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 elocutionary



mid-15c., from Late Latin elocutionem (nominative elocutio) "voice production, manner of expression," in classical Latin, "oratorical expression," noun of action from past participle stem of eloqui "speak out" (see eloquence).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper