Definition of disquisition in US English:



  • A long or elaborate essay or discussion on a particular subject.

    ‘nothing can kill a radio show quicker than a disquisition on intertextual analysis’
    • ‘So in acknowledging that this book does include disquisitions on books and writers who may be unfamiliar to some readers, I also hope they will stimulate interest in further exploration.’
    • ‘The article in question is a learned disquisition upon the art of binding books - and other objects - in human skin.’
    • ‘The reader who opens his Aristotle and expects to find a systematic disquisition on some philosophical subject or an orderly textbook of scientific instruction, will be brought up short: Aristotle's treatises are not like that.’
    • ‘In response, I will occasionally launch into a disquisition about Kuhn and Lakatos, but more often I give the following answer.’
    • ‘Some may find that Smith's heavy accent makes Andrey's disquisitions hard to follow, but her intense focus and gift for characterization carry her through.’
    • ‘The owner, who looks like a playboy footballer, keeps guests entertained with a succession of anecdotes, culinary disquisitions and impromptu bursts of song.’
    • ‘I'm thinking especially of the photographs that accompany Austerlitz's architectural disquisitions.’
    • ‘There are no pretentious disquisitions on the supposed post-modernist significance of trashy TV game shows.’
    • ‘So, on abortion, look for endless disquisitions on the grassiness of the anti-choice roots, the elitism of pro-choicers and the general tedium of the abortion issue.’
    • ‘He has produced a book chock-full of affecting vignettes, and that rarest of treats - an informed disquisition about public policy wrapped up in a fascinating narrative.’
    • ‘Otherwise a disquisition on the subject will appear to be elusive and simply beyond our ken.’
    • ‘Sparely and tautly written, this brilliant memoir of a daughter's longing for an elusive mother is a gripping read, but also something much more: a powerful disquisition on family life, full of hurts and love.’
    • ‘An oblique allegory of violence, this painting is also a disquisition on how history impinges on the present, or fails to.’
    • ‘Others are more substantial, including a long disquisition in Spanish addressed to President Fox and attached to a house on the highway.’
    • ‘Though this seems on its face to be a disquisition on religion and faith, it is of course an argument about power, and its influence on truth.’
    • ‘We find textbooks, readers, grammars; learned articles on scientific subjects; disquisitions on culture and public policy; even an ambitious early novel-all still virtually unknown today.’
    • ‘And it is easy to find lengthy disquisitions from Macaulay, Churchill, Smuts, and the like to this effect.’
    • ‘Enthusiastically, I launched into a disquisition on how useful they were for marking out trails when hiking… until I realised that I was getting a very funny look.’
    • ‘Burke had an unrivalled gift for portraying the wider significance of the issues of the day in terms of general principles, and as a result many of his speeches contain disquisitions on political philosophy.’
    • ‘All of them could have offered convenient launching pads for wise disquisitions infused with the wisdom of hindsight.’
    essay, dissertation, treatise, paper, discourse, tract, monograph, study, article
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Late 15th century: via French from Latin disquisitio(n-) ‘investigation’, based on quaerere ‘seek’. The original sense was ‘topic for investigation’, whence ‘discourse in which a subject is investigated’ (mid 17th century).