[el-uh-kwuh nt]
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  1. having or exercising the power of fluent, forceful, and appropriate speech: an eloquent orator.
  2. characterized by forceful and appropriate expression: an eloquent speech.
  3. movingly expressive: looks eloquent of disgust.

Origin of eloquent

1350–1400; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin ēloquent- (stem of ēloquēns, present participle of ēloquī) speaking out, eloquent, equivalent to ē- e-1 + loqu- speak + -ent- -ent
Related formsel·o·quent·ly, adverbel·o·quent·ness, nounnon·el·o·quent, adjectivenon·el·o·quent·ly, adverbqua·si-el·o·quent, adjectivequa·si-el·o·quent·ly, adverbsu·per·el·o·quent, adjectivesu·per·el·o·quent·ly, adverbun·el·o·quent, adjectiveun·el·o·quent·ly, adverb
Can be confusedelegant eloquent

Synonym study

Eloquent, fluent, articulate, expressive are adjectives that characterize speech or speakers notable for their effectiveness. Eloquent suggests clarity and power: an eloquent plea for disarmament. Fluent, with a root sense of flowing, refers to easy, smooth, facile speech: fluent in three languages. Articulate characterizes a clear and effective speaker or speech: an articulate spokesman for tax reform. Expressive focuses on rendering intelligible or meaningful the ideas or feelings of a speaker or writer and implies an especially effective, vivid use of language: a deeply moving, powerfully expressive evocation of a city childhood. See also fluent.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for eloquent


  1. (of speech, writing, etc) characterized by fluency and persuasiveness
  2. visibly or vividly expressive, as of an emotionan eloquent yawn
Derived Formseloquently, adverb

Word Origin for eloquent

C14: from Latin ēloquēns, from ēloquī to speak out, 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 eloquent

late 14c., from Old French eloquent, from Latin eloquentem (nominative eloquens), present participle of eloqui "to speak out" (see eloquence). Related: Eloquently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper