Definition of "rhetoric" []

  • The art or study of using language effectively and persuasively. (noun)
  • A treatise or book discussing this art. (noun)
  • Skill in using language effectively and persuasively. (noun)
  • A style of speaking or writing, especially the language of a particular subject: fiery political rhetoric. (noun)
  • Language that is elaborate, pretentious, insincere, or intellectually vacuous: His offers of compromise were mere rhetoric. (noun)
  • The study of the technique of using language effectively (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • The art of using speech to persuade, influence, or please; oratory (noun)
  • Excessive use of ornamentation and contrivance in spoken or written discourse; bombast (noun)
  • Speech or discourse that pretends to significance but lacks true meaning (noun) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "rhetoric" in a sentence
  • "For instance, if you heard a man say, 'The _rhetoric_ of Cicero is not fitted to challenge much interest,' you might naturally understand it of the particular style and rhetorical colouring -- which was taxed with being florid; nay, Rhodian; nay, even Asiatic -- that characterizes that great orator's compositions; or, again, the context might so restrain the word as to _force_ it into meaning the particular system or theory of rhetoric addressed to"
  • "Avoiding a shift to the right in rhetoric is neither a matter of principle nor honor, so he felt free to do so in order to win re-election."
  • "Even though he personally does not think much of ID, his anti-Darwin rhetoric is a big part of ID."