Definition of rhetoric in English:

rhetoric

noun

mass noun
  • 1The art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, especially the exploitation of figures of speech and other compositional techniques.

    ‘he is using a common figure of rhetoric, hyperbole’
    • ‘The problem is that using modernist rhetoric does not make one modern.’
    • ‘Gellert's lectures on poetry, rhetoric, and ethics were exceptionally popular.’
    • ‘Invoke the slippery slope and construct a straw man to knock down with one fell swoop of rhetoric.’
    • ‘This rhetoric was imitated in Elizabethan schools and began to make an impact on the stage.’
    • ‘In the late twentieth century rhetoric has been revived as the study of the structuring powers of discourse.’
    • ‘It may well be that the cities no longer had the resources to support a roster of teachers of grammar and rhetoric.’
    • ‘They may have seen themselves as reviving a more ancient tradition, that of rhetoric.’
    • ‘But both these opposite models of our selves are equally powerful in current rhetoric.’
    • ‘Young Athenian democrats needed rhetoric to persuade the democratic assemblies.’
    • ‘From this perspective, Ovidian rhetoric works to conceal the very desire that organizes it.’
    • ‘Born into a rich provincial family, he studied philosophy as well as rhetoric and law.’
    • ‘As an ability, rhetoric is observable when people choose to engage in it.’
    • ‘It is the common rhetoric in the aftermath of wars that, with the war once won, the peace must not then be lost.’
    • ‘In either case, we can see that both argument and rhetoric are designed to persuade and impress.’
    • ‘Are the audience really shocked into new ideas about rhetoric, oppression and language?’
    • ‘The devices of rhetoric, however, did not lose their links with poetry or their practical ties with the law.’
    • ‘In short, one can take the science out of rhetoric but not the rhetoric out of science.’
    • ‘Much of the earlier writing is political rhetoric; much of the later is album verse.’
    • ‘He too is the victim of the fashionable notion of rhetoric, logic and truth that was so widely admired at the time.’
    • ‘But during his twenties he was not only teaching Latin literature and the arts of rhetoric.’
    oratory, eloquence, power of speech, command of language, expression, way with words, delivery, diction
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    1. 1.1 Language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect, but which is often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content.
      ‘all we have from the Opposition is empty rhetoric’
      • ‘I have been impressed by rhetoric on dealing with inefficiency in the public services.’
      • ‘In their moment, election slogans, rhetoric and symbols seem to mean so very much.’
      • ‘The visit should not be seen by the Acehnese as another act of empty rhetoric by Jakarta.’
      • ‘You want to keep on pouring out the same old toxic separatist and communalist rhetoric.’
      • ‘The Old Man, as he is known, would not want to be seen as the hapless prisoner of his own empty rhetoric.’
      • ‘And you know, in the case of the captain, that is more than just empty rhetoric.’
      • ‘The old trade union slogan ‘An injury to one is an injury to all’ is not just empty rhetoric.’
      • ‘I am a sucker for rhetoric and a bit of uplift in some circumstances can be helpful.’
      • ‘Is it no more than rhetoric, designed to scare the mullahs and force them to drop their nuclear programme?’
      • ‘It is as if everyone has been given a dictionary of war rhetoric to make us believe we are fighting for a reason.’
      • ‘Such insipid, sophomoric rhetoric is best left in the empty heads that created it.’
      • ‘Many parties sound the same in their rhetoric and even look alike in their symbols.’
      • ‘He delights in personal enrichment and seems to be lacking in political rhetoric.’
      • ‘We must implement a health strategy that puts patients first, not empty rhetoric.’
      • ‘Problems pile up but important Ministers are content to keep their date with rhetoric.’
      • ‘Behind all the pomp and the communist rhetoric, this is a peace loving country.’
      • ‘As a result, his promises have raised the art of empty rhetoric to new heights.’
      • ‘Like the style of their rhetoric, the content of their arguments was stirring; it was arousing.’
      • ‘Don't simply opt for apparently powerful but ultimately empty, meaningless rhetoric.’
      • ‘It actually shows up the huge amount of rhetoric and empty wording piece by piece.’
      bombast, loftiness, turgidity, grandiloquence, magniloquence, ornateness, portentousness, pomposity, boastfulness, boasting, bragging, heroics, hyperbole, extravagant language, purple prose, pompousness, sonorousness
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old French rethorique, via Latin from Greek rhētorikē (tekhnē) ‘(art) of rhetoric’, from rhētōr ‘rhetor’.

Pronunciation

rhetoric

/ˈrɛtərɪk/