- used for, belonging to, or concerned with mere style or effect.
- marked by or tending to use exaggerated language or bombast.
- of, relating to, or concerned with rhetoric, or the effective use of language.
Origin of rhetorical
SynonymsSee more synonyms for rhetorical on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for rhetorical
But politicians abhor a rhetorical vacuum, and they have clamored to fill it.The 2014 Novel of the Year
December 29, 2014
Its rhetorical potential—if it ever had any—has been thoroughly exhausted.The Problematic Hunt for a ‘Gay Gene’
November 20, 2014
It was a gracious touch, a rhetorical olive branch to his vanquished foes.Didn't Obama Hear Oregon’s Warning Shot on Immigration?
November 14, 2014
But this new flavor of rhetorical flimflam is still pretty, well, whack.
Yet the president uses it for rhetorical vividness—a clarity, as it were.
The Menexenus has more the character of a rhetorical exercise than any other of the Platonic works.Menexenus
For I do not imagine that I have any rhetorical art of my own.Phaedrus
All of them are rhetorical and poetical rather than dialectical, but glimpses of truth appear in them.Symposium
Hardy was desperately in earnest, but not so much so as to be careless of rhetorical effect.Audrey Craven
What Inflection is placed on the rhetorical questions in par.The Ontario High School Reader
- concerned with effect or style rather than content or meaning; bombastic
- of or relating to rhetoric or oratory
Word Origin and History for rhetorical
mid-15c., "eloquent," from Latin rhetoricus, from Greek rhetorikos "oratorical, rhetorical; skilled in speaking," from rhetor "orator" (see rhetoric). Meaning "pertaining to rhetoric" is from 1520s. Rhetorical question is from 1670s. Related: Rhetorically.