Definition of elocution in US English:



  • 1The skill of clear and expressive speech, especially of distinct pronunciation and articulation.

    • ‘Participants will contest in light music, elocution, clay modelling, painting, group dance, fancy dress, group song and quiz events of the arts section.’
    • ‘Barbara remembers the dedicated teaching of the nuns at the Catholic schools she attended, and the emphasis on training in singing, and the extra lessons in piano and elocution for those who could afford the extra fees.’
    • ‘Competitions will be held in elocution, essay and painting for students from schools following the State, CBSE and ICSE syllabus.’
    • ‘It's a fascinating process in and of itself, a skill of elocution mixed with a keen sense of observation.’
    • ‘Many members of the learned professions display great felicity of illustration and fluency of elocution, surprising us with the quickness of their parts, who nevertheless are felt to be neither impressive nor profound.’
    • ‘Settelen made videotapes of her practicing elocution and formal speechmaking with him, presumably to improve her performance as a public figure.’
    • ‘With this in mind it was decided to open the Powley Academy of Excellence (rumour has it there's an unprecedented attendance at the school with classes in self betterment and elocution completely booked out).’
    • ‘But here the roles are reversed, with Susannah York's money-grabbing socialite as the teacher in matters of elocution and manners.’
    • ‘There was also quite a strong emphasis on sports, particularly track and field events like javelin throwing, shot putt, sprinting, and cross-country running as well as basic fencing technique and classes in elocution.’
    • ‘Authors of conduct manuals saw elocution as a skill to enhance the home, for reading aloud was regarded as an activity well suited to the woman's role in the domestic sphere.’
    • ‘Another of Roberts' fans, while filming, was Gay Harden, who portrays a teacher of speech, elocution and poise.’
    • ‘Della has a beautiful voice and great rapid-fire elocution, but the piece would be well served by tighter direction and fewer generalizations about gender in the comedic bits.’
    • ‘If that's not enough to make you jealous she also has the option of becoming an elocution teacher, as if she would ever need it, having achieved a gold medal for elocution from the London Academy of Dramatic Art and Music.’
    • ‘BBC World always seems to have over-educated experts explaining, with beautiful elocution, something utterly insane.’
    • ‘The week-long celebrations, which commenced on Monday last, included contests in quiz, elocution, dance, singing, mono action and hand-writing, besides a number of sports and games.’
    • ‘Right from his student days at the Sethupathi Higher Secondary School, he showed keen interest in elocution and essay writing competitions.’
    • ‘This glitch has it's up-side, because if I can feel like that, then I imagine that's what my own elocution did to my childhood attackers - their resentment was likely borne of a sense of inferiority and discomfort.’
    • ‘Did you know that Britain's ex-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher trained to lower the pitch of her voice and improve her elocution so that she would sound more authoritative?’
    • ‘The students also participated in various events such as fashion designing, cooking without fire, hair styling, embroidery, vegetable carving, clay modelling, debate, elocution and drama.’
    • ‘Let us be clear that this is a spiritual experience and has nothing to do with fine elocution or educated diction.’
    pronunciation, enunciation, articulation, diction, speech, voice production, intonation, voicing, vocalization, modulation
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A particular style of speaking.
      • ‘Della has a beautiful voice and great rapid-fire elocution.’
      • ‘She was educated by British nuns who insisted on public-school elocution, and there you are yet again.’
      • ‘Certainly the cast are up to the haughty elocution and aristocratic manner demanded by their roles.’
      • ‘On Sundays he preached a morning sermon, with his peculiar elocution and exaggerated use of bodily and facial gesture.’
      • ‘Viewers baffled by these moments, not to mention the orotund tones and rolled R's of theatrical elocution, will probably welcome the subtitles.’


Late Middle English (denoting oratorical or literary style): from Latin elocutio(n-), from eloqui ‘speak out’ (see eloquence).