- (in writing or speech) the undue use of exaggeration or display; bombast.
- the art or science of all specialized literary uses of language in prose or verse, including the figures of speech.
- the study of the effective use of language.
- the ability to use language effectively.
- the art of prose in general as opposed to verse.
- the art of making persuasive speeches; oratory.
- (in classical oratory) the art of influencing the thought and conduct of an audience.
- (in older use) a work on rhetoric.
Origin of rhetoric
Examples from the Web for rhetoric
“You try to always scratch where the itch is,” Huckabee said about his campaigning and rhetoric in the 2008 primary.Why This Liberal Hearts Huckabee
January 6, 2015
He has struck a promising tone these last few days with his rhetoric about trying to “see each other.”Memo to Cops: Criticisms Aren’t Attacks
December 28, 2014
Francis is well into his seventies, looks it, has a mild demeanor and soft speaking style; but his rhetoric is electrifying.How Pope Francis Became the World’s BFF
December 21, 2014
In return, Cuban rhetoric wholeheartedly blamed the United States for crippling their economy.Cuba Is A Kleptocracy, Not Communist
December 19, 2014
I saw it first hand during the conflict in Gaza this summer when friendships ended as the conflict and the rhetoric heated up.Muslims & Jews Unite vs. Abercrombie & Fitch
December 16, 2014
But the art, as far as there is an art, of rhetoric does not lie in the direction of Lysias or Thrasymachus.
But the art is not that which is taught in the schools of rhetoric; it is nearer akin to philosophy.
We see therefore that even in rhetoric an element of truth is required.
This is not an easy task, and this, if there be such an art, is the art of rhetoric.
But I still want to know where and how the true art of rhetoric and persuasion is to be acquired.
- the study of the technique of using language effectively
- the art of using speech to persuade, influence, or please; oratory
- excessive use of ornamentation and contrivance in spoken or written discourse; bombast
- speech or discourse that pretends to significance but lacks true meaningall the politician says is mere rhetoric
Word Origin and History for rhetoric
early 14c., from Old French rethorique, from Latin rhetorice, from Greek rhetorike techne "art of an orator," from rhetor (genitive rhetoros) "speaker, orator, teacher of rhetoric," related to rhesis "speech," rhema "word, phrase, verb," literally "that which is spoken," from PIE *wre-tor-, from root *were- "to speak" (cf. Old English word, Latin verbum, Greek eirein "to say;" see verb).