noun (used with a singular verb)

the study and description of the choices of linguistic expression that are characteristic of a group or an individual in specific communicative settings, especially in literary works.

Nearby words

  1. stylish,
  2. stylishly,
  3. stylist,
  4. stylistic,
  5. stylistician,
  6. stylite,
  7. stylites,
  8. stylitic,
  9. stylize,
  10. stylized

Origin of stylistics

First recorded in 1840–50; see origin at stylistic, -ics

Related formssty·lis·ti·cian [stahy-li-stish-uh n] /ˌstaɪ lɪˈstɪʃ ən/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for stylistics



(functioning as singular or plural) a branch of linguistics concerned with the study of characteristic choices in use of language, esp literary language, as regards sound, form, or vocabulary, made by different individuals or social groups in different situations of use
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