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