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stump speech

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noun

a political campaign speech, especially one made on a campaign tour.

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Origin of stump speech

An Americanism dating back to 1810–20
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What does stump speech come from?

A stump speech is a campaign speech—a speech made to encourage people to vote for a politician.

The word stump can refer to a platform for making speeches. This use isn’t common, but this sense of the word is commonly used in a figurative way to refer to the place where political campaign speeches are made, especially in the phrase on the stump, as in The senator went out on the stump to try to win re-election. 

Stump can also be used as a verb meaning to campaign, as in He’s stumping in Iowa today or He has endorsed the senator and will be stumping for her.

The term stump speech most often refers to a speech made on a campaign tour. It most commonly refers to a speech made by the politician who’s campaigning, but it can also refer to a speech made in support of that politician. This person can be called a stumper.

Example: He uses the same stump speech at every campaign stop—he just changes the name of the city each time. 

Where does stump speech come from?

The first records of the term stump speech come from around 1820. It was first and is primarily used in the U.S. The first records of the word stump to refer to a platform for speechmaking come from the 1770s.

Politicians are always making speeches. This is especially true when they’re trying to get re-elected. Calling a speech a stump speech indicates that it’s a campaign speech, but it also sometimes implies that it’s a bit formulaic and maybe just not that good.

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What are some synonyms for stump speech?

  • campaign speech

What are some words that share a root or word element with stump speech

What are some words that often get used in discussing stump speech?

How is stump speech used in real life?

Stump speech is always used in the context of politics. It especially refers to a speech made during a campaign tour.

 

Try using stump speech!

True or False?

A stump speech is always made by the person seeking election.

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