[ pur-luh-kyoo-shuh-ner-ee ]
/ ˌpɜr ləˈkyu ʃəˌnɛr i /

adjective Philosophy, Linguistics.

(of a speech act) producing an effect upon the listener, as in persuading, frightening, amusing, or causing the listener to act.

Origin of perlocutionary

First recorded in 1950–55; per- + locution + -ary

Related forms

per·lo·cu·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for perlocution


/ (ˌpɜːlɒˈkjuːʃən) /


philosophy the effect that someone has by uttering certain words, such as frightening a personAlso called: perlocutionary act Compare illocution

Derived Forms

perlocutionary, adjective

Word Origin for perlocution

C16 (in the obsolete sense: the action of speaking): from Medieval or New Latin perlocūtiō; see per-, 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