adjective Philosophy, Linguistics.
  1. pertaining to a linguistic act performed by a speaker in producing an utterance, as suggesting, warning, promising, or requesting.

Origin of illocutionary

First recorded in 1950–55; il-1 + locution + -ary
Related formsil·lo·cu·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for illocution


  1. philosophy an act performed by a speaker by virtue of uttering certain words, as for example the acts of promising or of threateningAlso called: illocutionary act See also performative Compare perlocution
Derived Formsillocutionary, adjective

Word Origin for illocution

C20: from il- + locution
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 illocution

1955, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + locution.



1955, from illocution + -ary.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper