indirect discourse

[ in-di-rekt-dis-kawrs ]

  1. the reporting of what a speaker said consisting not of the speaker's exact words but of a version transformed for grammatical inclusion in a larger sentence, as in She said she was not at all hungry.

Origin of indirect discourse

First recorded in 1845–50
  • Also called in·di·rect speech [in-di-rekt-speech], /ˈɪn dɪˈrɛkt ˈspitʃ/, re·port·ed speech [ri-pawr-tid speech] /rɪˈpɔr tɪd ˈspitʃ/ .

Words Nearby indirect discourse Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use indirect discourse in a sentence

  • The subjunctive is due to the implied indirect discourse, and expresses the thought, not of the writer, but of Mettius subjects.

    Selections from Viri Romae | Charles Franois L'Homond
  • indirect discourse means reported speech,—the thoughts of a writer or speaker put in the words of the one reporting them.

    An English Grammar | W. M. Baskervill and J. W. Sewell
  • From these illustrations will be readily seen the grammatical changes made in transferring from direct to indirect discourse.

    An English Grammar | W. M. Baskervill and J. W. Sewell
  • I extract a few passages, the conversations being given in indirect discourse.

    A Book of Exposition | Homer Heath Nugent
  • Those who have studied Latin will find the “indirect discourse” of Cicero a useful model.