Definition of rhetoric in English:

rhetoric

noun

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

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

/ˈredərik//ˈrɛdərɪk/